EU Greens Co-leader Threatens to Turn Nord Stream 2 Into ‘Investment Ruin’

© REUTERS / JOHANNA GERONEuropean Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen attend the EU Parliament plenary session in Brussels, Belgium April 26, 2021
European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen attend the EU Parliament plenary session in Brussels, Belgium April 26, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 19.09.2021
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Construction of the mammoth Russian-West European energy infrastructure project was completed earlier this month, with gas supplies expected to begin flowing in the coming months. The end of construction comes as gas prices in Europe hit record highs, with Moscow expecting deliveries via Nord Stream 2 to help stabilise prices.
The battle against Nord Stream 2 is not over, and Brussels can still turn the $10.5 billion project into an “investment ruin”, European Parliament lawmaker and European Green Party co-chair Reinhard Butikofer has suggested.
“The triumphalism with which the Russian side is celebrating the completion of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is premature,” Butikofer said, speaking to German newswire dpa in an interview published Saturday.

“If [Germany’s] Federal Network Agency (BNA) [regulator] approves the commissioning of the gas pipeline, it can still be stopped by the European Commission. If there are strong arguments in favour that the decision of the BNA violates EU energy legislation, the project may turn into an investment ruin,” the politician stressed.

According to Butikofer, the pipeline still needs to meet the requirements of European law – including the principle of ‘unbundling’, which requires gas production and the infrastructure for its delivery to be separated to prevent the creation of monopolies. In addition, third parties must have the right to feed into the pipeline, and Gazprom has not yet found a solution to this issue, the politician said.
Butikofer’s comments are the latest bid by Nord Stream 2’s opponents to cast the project in doubt. The 1,230km pipeline runs from Russia to north-east Germany along the bottom of the Baltic Sea, and is able to transport up to 55 billion cubic metres of additional Russian natural gas to Europe per year.
Gazprom announced that the pipeline was completed on 10 September. The project’s major adversaries, including Poland and Ukraine, have vowed to keep fighting Nord Stream 2 even after gas supplies begin to flow, and the United States has threatened to sanction it based on Russian ‘behaviour’.
A road sign directs traffic towards the Nord Stream 2 gas line landfall facility entrance in Lubmin, north eastern Germany, on September 7, 2020. - Sputnik International, 1920, 13.09.2021
German Regulator to Decide on Nord Stream 2 AG Certification Bid No Later Than 8 January
The BNA has warned that the project may face punishment if the pipeline is launched before the certification of its operator - Nord Stream 2 AG - is completed. The regulator is required to prepare a draft resolution four months after receiving a full package of documents, and its resolution is to be submitted to the European Commission for comment.
Last week, a BNA spokesman told Sputnik that it received all necessary documentation related to Nord Stream 2 AG’s bid for certification in June, with the verification period starting on 8 September, and a decision on the matter expected be taken no later than 8 January 2022.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday that Moscow expects Nord Stream 2’s commissioning to help “balance the natural gas price parameters in Europe” amid their recent spike by more than 170 percent since the start of the year to highs of nearly $950 per 1,000 cubic metres in futures trading.
Energy company RWE power's new gas-fired Pembroke Power Station, the largest of its type in Europe, is seen during its completion ceremony in Pembroke, Wales September 19, 2012.  REUTERS/Rebecca Naden/File Photo - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.09.2021
Why are Gas Prices Breaking Records in Europe and Why Can't Countries Stop Their Growth?
On Friday, Gazprom chief Alexei Miller said Europe’s gas stores were 22.9 billion cubic metres below normal seasonal levels, and stressed that the company will continue to stick to its supply obligations in full, and to increase deliveries if necessary.
The spike in prices has prompted a group of more than 40 European Parliament lawmakers to accuse the Russian gas giant of deliberately manipulating prices in an attempt to pressure Brussels over Nord Stream 2. Gazprom and the Russian government have dismissed the allegations out of hand.
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