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    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko gestures during a news conference in Kiev, Ukraine, January 14, 2016

    Ukraine, Poland Condemn Expansion of Gazprom Access to Opal Pipeline

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    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that Kiev and Warsaw are deliberately condemning the decision of the European Commission to allow Gazprom to to expand circulation of gas through the Opal gas pipeline.

    WARSAW (Sputnik) — Ukraine and Poland are deliberately condemning the decision of the European Commission to expand Russia’s energy giant to expand access to the Opal gas pipeline's capacity connecting Nord Stream with Europe's gas transportation network, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Friday.

    "I am grateful to Poland for its clear support of Ukraine's position regarding European Commission's decision to allow Gazprom to to expand circulation of gas through the Opal gas pipeline… We are deliberately condemning these decisions, and we have agreed to coordinate our steps to prevent implementation of these decisions," Poroshenko said after a meeting with Polish President Andrzej Duda.

    The Opal pipeline connects the Nord Stream pipeline with Europe’s gas transportation network. However, European restrictions permit Russian energy giant Gazprom only 50 percent of the pipeline for Russian natural gas to be delivered across Germany to the Czech Republic. The restrictions are outlined in the European Union’s Third Energy Package that reserves the other half for independent gas suppliers.

    In October, the European Commission expanded Gazprom's access to the Opal gas pipeline by additional 40 percent, preserving the last 10 percent as a reserve for the third countries, which could be extended to 15-20 percent in case of high demand.

    Russia is engaged in constructing the Nord Stream-2 pipeline that aims to deliver 55 billion cubic meters of Russian natural gas a year to the European Union across the Baltic Sea to Germany, bypassing Ukraine.

    Related:

    Russian, EU Energy Chiefs to Discuss Access to Opal Pipeline - Deputy Minister
    Russia May Drop Nord Stream-2 Project Over Greater Access to Opal Pipeline
    EU Commission's Decision on Opal Pipeline Disagrees With EU-Ukrainian Treaty
    EU Commission Grants Gazprom Access to Additional 40% of Opal Capacity
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    Opal pipeline, European Commission, Petro Poroshenko, Poland, Ukraine
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