“In its reply, the European Commission follows the legal procedure – the ‘dispute settlement mechanism’ – set out in the Energy Charter Treaty, stating that its services are ready to meet with the project promoters to hear their arguments,” Rietford said.
“At the same time and as part of the procedure in such cases, in line with Financial Responsibility Regulation, the Commission must formally inform the European Parliament and the Council of its reply – which we have done,” she said.
Previously, the Council of the European Union approved the amendments to the EU Gas Directive. These amendments stipulate the rules of operation of the offshore sections of gas pipelines in the EU and thus may affect the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
Nord Stream 2 is a joint venture between Russian gas giant Gazprom and five European companies — Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall, France’s Engie, Austria’s OMV and Anglo-Dutch Royal Dutch Shell. The project, due to be completed before the end of this year, aims to deliver 55 billion cubic meters (1.9 trillion cubic feet) of Russian natural gas annually to the European Union.
Some European countries have welcomed the project, while others remain opposed to it, raising concerns over the alleged danger of Europe’s dependence on Russia and the subsequent diminished transit role of Ukraine.
Washington has repeatedly bashed the Nord Stream 2 project which the US claims will increase Europe’s dependence on Russian gas and potentially leave it vulnerable. Moscow denies the allegations, calling Nord Stream 2 a purely commercial project which should not be politicised.
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