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New EU Amendment On Gas Pipelines Regulations Could Affect Nord Stream 2

Nord Stream 2 aims to transport Russian gas directly to Germany via the Baltic Sea. (file photo)
Nord Stream 2 aims to transport Russian gas directly to Germany via the Baltic Sea. (file photo)

BRUSSELS -- The European Commission on November 8 proposed new regulations that would introduce common jurisdiction for all gas pipelines entering the bloc and could render the Russian Nord Stream 2 project unprofitable.

Nord Stream 2 -- a 1,200-kilometer pipeline - is projected to transport Russian gas directly to European Union member Germany via the Baltic Sea.

The project was put on hold in 2015 after several countries criticized the project as deepening Europe's dependence on Russian gas. European Council President Donald Tusk has said it is not in the EU's interests.

According to the new rules presented on November 8 in Brussels by European Commission Vice President in Charge of Energy Union Maros Sefcovic, all major gas pipelines entering EU territory would have to comply with the 28-member bloc's rules on transparency, accessibility, and efficiency.

Russian state-owned giant Gazprom is set to be the sole shareholder of the Nord Stream 2 project company, although five European energy firms -- France's Engie, Austria's OMV, British-Dutch group Shell, and German energy groups Uniper and Wintershall -- have said they would provide long-term financing for 50 percent of the total cost of the pipeline.

Sefcovic told a news conference in Brussels that the new proposals, which he expects will be adopted in a "fast-track procedure," were designed to provide "much-needed clarity and legal certainty."

Sefcovic said that Nord Stream 2, which he described as a "controversial project," should not be built in a legal void."

The proposals require approval from the EU parliament and the member states in order to become law.

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