WORLD EU's Tusk calls for swift decision on Russian pipeline

WORLD

EU's Tusk calls for swift decision on Russian pipeline

Alissa de Carbonnel | Reuters

04:57, November 17, 2017

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European Council President Donald Tusk attends a debate on the outcome of the last European summit at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, October 24, 2017.     Photo: Reuters

The head of the European Council, Donald Tusk, has urged EU nations to swiftly adopt a change of rules to help the bloc in its attempt to regulate Russia’s planned Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

The European Commission is proposing to extend EU internal energy market rules to cover offshore gas pipelines, which it sees as undercutting EU efforts to reduce dependence on Moscow and its support for Kiev.

“I would like to encourage you to proceed swiftly with this proposal,” Tusk said in the letter, seen by Reuters and dated Nov. 10, to the heads of the bloc’s 28 nations. “Time is of the essence, if we are to achieve the objectives of our Energy Union.”

Tusk has sided with member nations such as Poland and the Baltic states that argue Nord Stream 2 would increase the EU’s dependence on Russia’s state gas export monopoly Gazprom, which already supplies about a third of the bloc’s gas.

But Germany, the end-point for Russia’s plans to double the gas it could pump under the Baltic Sea to Germany, bypassing traditional routes via Ukraine, believes Brussels should not get involved.

EU regulators say they want the rules in place by the end of 2018 - early enough to apply to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline due to be completed by the end of the following year.


But Germany, the end-point for Russia’s plans to double the gas it could pump under the Baltic Sea to Germany, bypassing traditional routes via Ukraine, believes Brussels should not get involved.

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