11:09 GMT +325 April 2019
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    Nord Stream 2 to Be Built Despite EU Gas Directive Amendments - Russian Envoy

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    BRUSSELS/MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Amendments to the EU Gas Directive would allow internal EU market regulations to be extended to pipelines to and from non-EU countries, potentially affecting the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that is expected to carry gas from Russia to Europe.

    According to Russian Envoy to the EU Vladimir Chizhov, there is no doubt that Nord Stream 2 will be completed.

    "There may be various options. But the pipeline will be built. You should not doubt that", Chizhov stressed when asked if it was possible that the directive would come into force before the pipeline was launched.

    The European Commission said in a statement on Wednesday that the amendments would be formally approved by the parliament and the Council of the European Union in the "coming months".

    The document needs the approval of the parliament's Committee on Industry, Research, and Energy as well.

    READ MORE: EU's Breakthrough Decision on Nord Stream 2: Key Points

    In November 2017, the European Commission proposed extending EU energy rules to gas pipelines from non-EU countries to Europe. In particular, the commission seeks the right to demand a separation of gas sales and pipeline operating activities, as well as third-party access to pipelines.

    European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic said in January that Romania, as current chairman of the EU Council, had submitted for consideration a revised version of the amendments to the EU Gas Directive that could affect Gazprom’s gas pipeline construction projects, especially Nord Stream 2, and the extension of the TurkStream gas pipeline to Europe.

    Nord Stream 2 AG said in comments last week that the amendments to the EU Gas Directive could create a potentially discriminatory regulatory regime for individual projects, adding that the planned revision of the document could also create "legislative uncertainty for investors".

    READ MORE: Merkel Announces EU Reached Agreement on Nord Stream 2 – Reports

    Nord Stream 2 is a joint venture of Russian gas giant Gazprom and five European companies. It aims to deliver 55 billion cubic metres (1.9 trillion cubic feet) of Russian natural gas annually to the European Union.

    The pipeline project has been welcomed by some countries in Europe and opposed by others, who've raised concerns over the alleged danger of Europe's dependence on Russia and the subsequent diminished transit role of Ukraine. Moscow has repeatedly reiterated that the pipeline is a purely commercial project.

    Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Pankin told Sputnik last week that attempts to force Russia to transit gas through neighbouring Ukraine on unfavourable terms will fall through. However, Pankin emphasised that Moscow is ready to keep transiting gas through Ukraine, but it should happen on Russia’s terms.

    READ MORE: Sanctions Coming? EU Gas Giants Weigh Nord Stream 2 Risks & Benefits – Scholars

    Related:

    Nothing to 'Slow Gazprom Down' After EU's Nord Stream 2 Approval – German Media
    Macron’s Decision to Skip Munich Conference Unrelated to Nord Stream 2 – Envoy
    German Minister: EU Ruling on Nord Stream 2 Sends 'Powerful Signal' to Critics
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    new directive, amendments, construction, Nord Stream 2, Vladimir Chizhov, EU, Russia
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