EU seeks Russia for Nord Stream negotiation talks

  • Elisabeth Gheorghe
  • 6.4.2017 16:22

The EU revealed on 31 March that it no longer has legal grounds to block the Russian-backed Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Europe. In a bid to ease East European concerns of increased dependence on Russian gas, while Germany and other northern European beneficiaries back the plan, Brussels reportedly wants security negotiations with Moscow.

The EU has previously attempted to prevent the extension, addressing Baltic and Polish pressure. Whilst Russia remains eager to complete the pipeline by 2019, as the Russo-Ukrainian transit deal expires in December 2019, Poland and neighbouring countries could lose lucrative transit fees. Russia wants to bypass Ukraine due to unease of a repeat of the 2006 winter gas crisis, when Ukraine allegedly siphoned off gas intended for European consumers. 

Nord Stream 2 will meet the combined annual gas consumption of France and Germany. As Moscow describes the matter as strictly business, allegedly improving European energy security, Russian media outlet TASS reports that Gazprom’s 2017 production levels will soar, meeting European demand.

About author: Elisabeth Gheorghe

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