On May 4th, the German Federal government issued a statement expressing its positivity towards the Nord Stream 2 project.
“The Federal Government continues to be positive about the Nord Stream 2 project. This is emphasized in the answer (19/18835) to a small question (19/18170) by the AfD group.
Regarding possible support from Russia, the federal government declares that Nord Stream 2 is primarily an economic project of the companies involved. There were also no considerations to bill the United States for the follow-up costs of the US sanctions against companies involved in the pipeline.”
The German authorities stressed that they intend to continue to support the entrepreneurs involved in the project. According to the federal government, Nord Stream 2 is primarily a commercial project.
Germany also did not see a threat to the country’s energy supply due to a delay in the construction of the gas pipeline, since the gas supply infrastructure is quite diversified.
The federal government of Germany did not share the opinion that the country’s policy regarding the Russian project threatens NATO. According to the document, Germany continues to perceive the United States as its main security partner outside Europe, and there can be no talk of an economic war between them.
The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline consists of two lines with a total length of 1224 km running along the bottom of the Baltic Sea.
According to the project, Russian gas will be supplied to Germany and other European countries. Its construction was supposed to be completed by the end of 2019, but was delayed due to the imposed US sanctions. Gazprom announced that the gas pipeline will be launched by the end of 2020.
In early May, the German newspaper Handelsblatt, citing the German Federal regulator (Bundesnetzagentur, BNetzA), reported that the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline could be subject to restrictions, as it had not been completed until May 2019.
According to the directive, after the completion of the project, Gazprom will be able to use only 50% of the pipeline’s capacity, and the remaining capacities will be transferred to an independent gas transmission operator.
The decision needs to be made by May 24th and it is unclear if it would be subject to derogation or exempt from it.
The derogation would exempt the project from EU rules enforcing third party access to pipeline capacity, and legal separation of Gazprom as the owner of the pipeline from suppliers of gas using it.
Pipelines completed before May 23rd 2019 can apply for a derogation, which is granted by the regulatory authority of the member state where the pipeline first enters the EU network. Future pipelines can apply to the European Commission for an exemption.
There is no clarity on what is considered a pipeline “completed before May 23rd.” Meanwhile, “future” pipelines are projects not yet built and for which “the level of risk attached to the investment must be such that the investment would not take place unless an exemption was granted,” the EU gas directive states.
Still Nord Stream 2, isn’t ready yet, 160 km remain to be built in Danish EEZ.
A special pipe-laying vessel that could be used by Russia to complete construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany has arrived in the Baltic Sea on May 3rd.
Footage taken by Reuters from the coast showed the Academic Cherskiy idle in a bay near the Kaliningrad region. The Academic Cherskiy, which Russian gas company Gazprom bought in 2016, was in the Russian Pacific port of Nakhodka in December when the United States imposed sanctions on Nord Stream 2.
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