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EU confirms third energy package not applicable to Nord Stream 2

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline is expected to come into service at the end of 2019

MOSCOW, March 31. /TASS/. The European Commission confirmed that the third internal energy market package is not applicable to offshore pipelines such as Nord Stream 2, the pipeline project operator has said.

Nord Stream 2 AG said, commenting on the commission’s letter to the Energy Ministers of Sweden and Denmark: "After carefully studying the content of this response to a request for an assessment of our project, we find it important that the European Commission confirmed that ‘it is the responsibility and competence of the Member States to authorize or certify individual pipeline projects’."

In its recent letter, the German regulator Bundesnetzagentur clarified to the European Commission that Nord Stream 2 is not being implemented in a legal void.

"The German regulator also stated that "it would be discriminatory if other requirements were to apply to Nord Stream 2" than to other comparable pipelines without legal reason," the statement reads. "We are surprised that this clarification by the competent regulator is not reflected in the Commission’s letter to the Danish and Swedish Ministers."

Nord Stream 2 AG reiterated that the project will proceed in full compliance with the existing legal framework consisting of EU law, intergovernmental conventions and national laws. Any special intergovernmental agreement is not a legal prerequisite or permitting criteria for a pipeline project like Nord Stream 2.

The company expressed its strong disagreement with the European Commission’s claim that Nord Stream 2 was not in line with the Energy Union objectives.

"In the very first sentence of the Energy Union strategy, these objectives are identified as (1) secure, (2) sustainable, and (3) affordable/competitive energy. Nord Stream 2 directly contributes to all three key objectives," the company said. "The EU cannot pursue all three objectives simultaneously without sufficient supply of natural gas by import pipelines."

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 billion cubic meters. The new pipeline will double the capacity of the first stretch and will basically follow its route.