Politico Europe Pro on a letter of Head of Ukraine’s Mission to the EU Mykola Tochytskyi to Ukraine's friends in the European Parliament on Nord Stream 2:
German pipeline law postponed amid Nord Stream 2 concerns
11/8/19, 4:17 PM CET | View in your browser
A German parliament vote on bringing the amended EU Gas Directive — which targets Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline — into national law has been postponed after an overnight voting session was cut short for procedural reasons.
A Bundestag spokesperson said the bill could be added to next week’s plenary voting agenda; if not, the next opportunity to pass the law is December.
The bill has raised concerns among opponents of the pipeline project, meant to ship gas from Russia underneath the Baltic Sea directly to Germany. They fear a government-backed amendment seen by POLITICO could help Nord Stream 2 avoid the EU’s updated gas rules, which would forbid Russia’s Gazprom from being the owner and sole supplier of the pipeline.
Mykola Tochytskyi, the head of Ukraine’s mission to the EU, said in a letter to the European Parliament this week that he worries the bill would “open the opportunity to [Nord Stream 2] to avoid EU-wide gas liberalization rules.”
Excluding the pipeline from the gas liberalization rules “will grant Gazprom with undue competitive advantage and further strengthen its market domination,” Tochytskyi said in the letter, seen by POLITICO.
A Wednesday report in Germany’s Bild — the country’s biggest tabloid, owned by POLITICO co-owner Axel Springer — triggered the attention.
The European Commission today refused to comment directly on the draft law, but Chief Spokesperson Mina Andreeva said Brussels would follow up if it contravened EU rules.
“As for any directive, the Commission will monitor the national transposition … and follow up if there should be any inconsistencies with EU law,” she said.