09:36 GMT02 December 2020
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    BERLIN, (Sputnik) - The European Commission's decision of 2016 expanding Gazprom’s access to OPAL’s facilities gave the Russian company a possibility to additionally transport up to 10.2 billion cubic meters of gas per year via OPAL, which receives gas from the Nord Stream pipeline laid from Russia's Vyborg to German Greifswald.

    The recent EU decision to curtail Russian Gazprom's access to OPAL pipeline capacity is political in nature, and thus the West is seeking to partially oust Russia from the market in line with the traditions of the trade war and discredit it as a gas supplier, German lawmaker and Chairman of the German-Russian Parliamentary Friendship Group Robby Schlund from Alternative for Germany (AfD) said.

    "The verdict is, of course, political. They are trying to oust Russia from the market, at least partially, and to discredit Russia in line with the traditions of the trade war. At the same time, there is an intention, by artificially reducing transit volumes, to increase the price for Russian gas in order to make the US liquefied natural gas [LNG] more competitive. Instead of justice and equality on the liberal market, the EU court decision will certainly lead to the market distortion and higher cost of energy for European partners," Schlund said.

    According to the politician, Germany will need additional gas deliveries from the Nord Stream in case of a cold winter, as "renewable energy sources, especially during the winter period, will lead to significant fluctuations in energy supply."

    "We need constant gas deliveries from Russia for the safety of our population and the work of our economic engine in Germany," he said.

    Schlund also reiterated the AfD's support for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, which is set to pass either through territorial waters or exclusive economic zones of Denmark, Finland, Germany, Russia and Sweden.

    On 9 September, the EU court overruled the European Commission's decision of 2016 that expanded Gazprom’s access to OPAL’s facilities as violating the energy solidarity principle. The Commission vowed to carefully analyse this decision. Gazprom must reduce gas transit via OPAL pipeline to 50 percent of the capacity, in accordance with the recent EU court decision.

    Views and opinions, expressed in the article are those of Robby Schlund and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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