31 Oct 2017 15:36

Lavrov sees no reasons for EU to apply extraterritorial jurisdiction to Nord Stream 2

MOSCOW. Oct 31 (Interfax) - Attempts to impose a negotiation mandate on the European Commission with respect to the Nord Stream 2 project are unsubstantiated, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

"Naturally, the plan of certain members of the European Commission to impose on it a decision on the need to obtain a negotiation mandate for concluding a special agreement on Nord Stream 2 with Russia is perplexing," Lavrov said at a briefing of the Association of European Businesses on Tuesday.

"This is absolutely unsubstantiated. There are no reasons for applying European Union extraterritorial jurisdiction in the Baltic Sea," he said.

"We believe that enacting any special legal rules solely for Nord Stream 2 discredits investors in this project," Lavrov said.

The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline will traverse the Baltic Sea to connect Russian suppliers and European customers. It will have a length of more than 1,200 km. The gas pipeline's estimated capacity is 55 billion cubic meters per annum. The project's value is estimated at almost 10 billion euros.

European media reported earlier that according to some lawyers for the EU Council, the European Commission has insufficient powers to interfere with the process of implementation of the Nord Stream 2 project or negotiate with Russia on behalf of individual EU member states. The European Commission asked the Council for a mandate to hold negotiations on behalf of the European Union. The European Commission lawyers claimed that there is a 'legal vacuum' around Nord Stream 2 and that it needs to be filled via negotiations.