MOSCOW, September 20. /TASS/. The EU Council’s decision on providing a mandate to the European Commission (EC) for negotiations on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project with Russia is expected not earlier than in December 2017, a source in the European Commission (EC) close to the talks told TASS.
"The date has not been specified yet, but the next discussion (at the level of EU ministers - TASS) will take place in December," he said, adding that the expert-level meeting behind closed doors regarding the issue will be held on September 28.
Earlier the EU ministers were expected to discuss the mandate in September.
The European Commission requested a mandate to hold talks with Russia on Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from the European Union member-states in early June. The EC plans to discuss the possibility of setting a special legal base for operations of the future gas pipeline with the Russian side. Despite the fact that the European Commission assumes that the project contradicts the EU Energy Union regulations, it admits the project may be implemented.
The fact that the rules of the local EU market and the Third Energy Package do not cover the Nord Stream 2 project since it will run along the seabed stirs up controversy.
The Nord Stream 2 pipeline is expected to come into service at the end of 2019. The pipeline is set to run from the Russian coast along the Baltic Sea bed to the German shore. Each of the pipeline’s two stretches will have a capacity of 27.5 bln cubic meters. The new pipeline that is expected to connect the Russian resource base with European customers, will double the capacity of the first stretch and will basically follow its route.