The European Commission has said that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline will have to submit an application for certification in Germany in order to become operational, and this application will have to receive an opinion from the EC, according to the provisions of the EU Gas Directive.
EC spokeswoman Vivian Loonela reiterated the EC’s position that Nord Stream 2 must operate on the principles of transparency, non-discrimination, in accordance with EU law.
Nord Stream 2 must submit an application for certification to the German market regulator before it can start operating. (…) The German regulator will then have to submit a draft certification decision to the EC, asking for the EC’s opinion, as stipulated in the amendment to the gas directive – she pointed out. The EC will have two months to give its opinion.
The EC was also asked about a letter sent to it by a group of over 40 MEPs. The parliamentarians demand that the European Commission investigate the actions of Gazprom, which – in their view – manipulates prices on the market by reducing the supply of raw material. In this way, according to MEPs, prices are rising.
Loonela replied that the EC has received the letter and is currently analysing it.
– The EC is observing and monitoring the situation in member states with regard to energy price rises, she pointed out. She added that during the Covid-19 pandemic, energy prices were very low, so increases are now to be expected.
– The higher prices we are seeing are mainly the result of a combination of factors, mainly a significant increase in global gas demand due to economic recovery, the EC spokeswoman said.
Gazprom chief Alexei Miller said on Wednesday that gas deliveries via Nord Stream 2 would not start from October 1, as forecast by the media. Earlier on Wednesday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry explained that permits from the German regulator were still being obtained.
The date of 1 October as the start of deliveries through the first line of the gas pipeline was reported in recent weeks by Bloomberg news agency. Miller in a statement to the press stated on Wednesday: “No, on October 1 deliveries will not start yet.”
Russian Foreign Ministry chief Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday that the Nord Stream 2 case “is in the process of obtaining the necessary permits from the German regulator”. This process “is not fast”; the permits could be obtained in early 2022, the minister explained.
Nord Stream 2 – a twin pipeline leading from Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea – is to transport 55 billion cubic metres of natural gas a year. The construction of the pipeline is opposed by Poland, Ukraine, the Baltic States and the US. Critics of Nord Stream 2 argue, among other things, that the project will increase Europe’s dependence on Russian gas and expand the Kremlin’s influence on European politics.
In July, the U.S. and German governments announced in a joint statement an agreement to end the dispute over the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. As part of the agreement, the U.S. is suspending the imposition of sanctions on the pipeline, while Germany will invest in Ukrainian projects and commit itself to sanctions in the event of hostile actions by Russia.
Among other things, Berlin has pledged to create a fund to invest in Ukraine’s green transformation, energy projects and to use all means to get Russia to extend the gas transit agreement through Ukraine beyond 2024. Germany is also to impose its own sanctions if Russia uses NS2 to blackmail Kiev.