Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Europe – latest

Amendments, which may be introduced to the European Union (EU) gas directive, are unlikely to halt the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Europe, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Friday.

“Judging by the draft, which was considered and adopted by the European Parliament yesterday, it can be noted that the project will be implemented,” Novak told reporters.

“And, of course, it will be implemented within the framework of this legislation, within what may be passed. That means that the requirements of the gas directive will have to be fulfilled,” he added.

But Novak said that currently the talk could only be about the general parameters of the amendments as not all the procedures for adopting them have been completed.

Judging by the draft of the amendments, they should not restrict the implementation of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, the minister said.

The European Parliament adopted an overhaul of EU gas market rules on Thursday to extend EU requirements to all pipelines entering the EU from non-EU countries.

Following formal approval by EU ministers, the directive will be published in the Official Journal of the EU and enter into force 20 days later. Member states will have nine months to bring their national legislation in line with this directive.

According to the amendments, all gas pipelines from non-EU countries, including Nord Stream 2, will have to abide by rules of the bloc: third-party access, ownership unbundling, non-discriminatory tariffs and transparency.

The EU currently imports more than 70 percent of its consumption of natural gas mainly from Norway, Russia and Algeria mostly through pipelines.

The Nord Stream 2 project involves the construction of two 1,230-km pipelines to transport up to 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year to the EU via the Baltic Sea and Germany, and it is expected to be put into operation by the end of 2019.

Nord Stream 2 is a joint venture of Russian gas giant Gazprom and five European companies.

Washington has criticized the gas pipeline project, warning that it will make EU countries dependent on Russia.