5 Apr 2019 16:29

Existing version of gas directive enables Nord Stream 2 to be built - Novak

MOSCOW. April 5 (Interfax) - The existing version of the EU gas directive enables the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to be built, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters.

"As far as I know, not all procedures for adopting the gas directive are complete. We need to wait for all legislative procedures to wrap up. As far as I know, the document first has to be published, then implemented in national over a period of nine months. During that period we will be able to examine all the legal subtleties that may arise when the gas directive is enacted," Novak said.

"But going by the draft submitted yesterday, it can be said that the project [Nord Stream 2] will be implemented in the framework of that legislation that could be passed. All the terms of the gas directive will be fulfilled. In other words it [the adoption of the gas directive] should not be a constraint on the project's implementation," he said.

The European Parliament adopted a revised gas directive on Thursday. The directive now needs to be endorsed by the EU Council and it will come into effect 20 days after publication in the EU's official journal.

The directive extends rules for the EU gas market to pipelines originating in non-EU countries, including Nord Stream 2, which will link Russia with Germany. Sections of pipelines originating in non-EU countries and routed via EU territory, including territorial waters, must comply with the requirements applicable for internal EU pipelines.

The main requirements are for ownership unbundling, third-party pipeline access and transparent tariff regulation. This means the Nord Stream 2 operator must be independent of Gazprom and half the pipeline's capacity must be reserved for alternative suppliers. Exceptions are possible, but only with European Commission's approval.