Nord Stream 2 compromise reached with EU Parliament and Commission

Brussels – EU member states have agreed on a compromise with the European Parliament and the EU Commission for regulating the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany, delegation sources told dpa early Wednesday.

Compromise deal

The operator of the pipeline can expect some additional regulations, but the project led by Russian state concern Gazprom is not threatened.

Russia had last week warned against new hurdles in the construction of the pipeline after Berlin consented to a compromise with France and other EU member states for tighter regulations.

Nord Stream 2, which goes under the Baltic Sea, is meant to transport up to 55 billion cubic metres of Russian natural gas to Germany each year.

Critics argue that the pipeline increases Europe’s dependence on Russia. Advocates stress the need for secure energy supplies as gas production declines in the EU.

EU rules to be followed

Under the compromise, an EU directive would be amended to allow the European Commission to impose more oversight over gas pipelines, including the German-Russian project.

This means that the European Union could apply its internal gas-market rules more consistently to pipelines to and from non-EU countries.

It would also require member states to seek EU approval when negotiating changes on gas agreements with non-EU countries in the event that EU rules are affected.

Construction of large parts of Nord Stream 2 is already complete. The pipeline is to be put into use from the end of this year.