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Implementation of Third Energy Package key task of Ukraine, EU joint work — Ukraine PM

November 14, 2014, 20:43 UTC+3 KIEV
The Ukrainian prime minister also pointed to the solidarity of Ukraine’s and the European Union’s positions on issues of energy security
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© EPA/FILIP SINGER

KIEV, November 14. /TASS/. Implementation of provision of the Third Energy Package is a top priority goal of Ukraine’s joint work with the European Commission, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said on Friday after his meeting with visiting European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maros Sefcovic.

“Among priorities of joint work with the European Commission is the implementation of provisions of the Third Energy Package, joint modernization and management of Ukraine’s gas transport system, and investments in increased production of energy resources inside Ukraine,” Yatsenyuk’s website quoted him as saying.

The Ukrainian prime minister also pointed to the solidarity of Ukraine’s and the European Union’s positions on issues of energy security. He stressed the importance of further joint efforst to diversify energy sources.

Russia-EU dispute over Third Energy Package

Last year, the European Commission urged to review bilateral intergovernmental agreements between Russia and EU countries to ensure that they comply with the Third Energy Package, which requires the separation of gas production, transportation and sale to prevent gas suppliers from dominating the infrastructure.

Russia insists the South Stream project should be exempt from the effect of the Third Energy Package because it signed bilateral inter-governmental agreements with the EU countries participating in the construction of the gas pipeline on their territory before the EU’s new energy legislation came into force.

Therefore, Russia says that the European Commission’s requirement to adapt these documents to the Third Energy Package contradicts the basic law principle that legislation cannot have retroactive force.

The Third Energy Package requires, in particular, that a half of the capacities of the pipeline built with Russian money must be reserved for independent suppliers, i.e. for cheap and free transit of Caspian gas to Europe independently from Russia.

Therefore, Russia does not recognize the legitimacy of applying the Third Energy Package to the South Stream gas pipeline project. If Moscow agrees to the EU’s proposal to consider exemptions for the South Stream gas pipeline as part of the Third Energy Package, this will mean that Russia will de facto recognize the legitimacy of using this ultra-liberal regulation.

OPAL gas pipeline and the Third Energy Package

The OPAL gas pipeline, which has an annual capacity of 36 billion cubic meters and runs along Germany’s eastern border, provides a link from Russia’s Nord Stream gas pipe running under the Baltic Sea to Europe’s existing gas transport networks. The OPAL pipeline pumps Russian natural gas across Germany and farther to the Czech Republic.

Under the rules of the Third Energy Package, Gazprom is required to reserve up to 50% of the OPAL gas pipeline’s capacities for gas transportation by independent gas suppliers.

Gazprom turned to the European Commission in late 2013 with a request to exclude the OPAL gas pipeline from the rules of the Third Energy Package, which requires the separation of gas production, transportation and sale to prevent gas suppliers from dominating the infrastructure.

The German Economy Ministry has insisted on providing full access for Gazprom to the OPAL pipeline over the threat of interruptions in Russia’s natural gas transit via Ukraine.

However, the decision was postponed till January 2015.

Infographics Russian gas in Europe Russian gas in Europe
One-third of gas consumed in EU comes from Russia. Infographics ITAR-TASS

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