BRUGES (Belgium), April 24. /ITAR-TASS/. Legal claims of the European Commission against the South Stream natural gas pipeline project are likely to be settled by the yearend, Russia’s Ambassador to the European Union, Vladimir Chizhov, said on Thursday at a High-Level Opening Policy Conference of the European Energy Policy that is taking place at the College of Europe in Bruges.“Implementation of the project is in full swing and construction is underway as well. The first section of the pipeline is expected to be completed by the end of 2015,” Chizhov said. “By the time, I hope, solutions will be found to all the problems of the current intergovernmental agreements between Russia and each member state of the South Stream corresponds to the requirements of the EU third energy package.”
To coordinate the issues, a special intergovernmental commission between Russia and the European Union was set up at the beginning of the year.
The commission is due to amend intergovernmental agreements between Russia and six countries of the European Union the South Stream is to stretch across — Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia and Austria as well as through Serbia, which is not an EU member-state yet.
The European Commission claims that they violate the requirements of the EU Third Package while Russia insists the South Stream as a trans-border gas pipeline does not fall under the jurisdiction of the Third Package, which came into force after agreements had been signed.
The EU claims against the South Stream have stemmed from the main provisions of the Third Package that require all the pipelines to be managed by the operator that is independent from generation or production companies. Besides, the EC pushes for some of the project’s capability to be reserved for the supplies of natural gas provided by “independent producers.