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The Endgame In European Natural Gas

The construction of Nord Stream 2 is nearing its logical conclusion – a grand standoff, in the first move of which the Council of the European Union adopted the amended EU Gas Directive. Brussels never really hid the fact that its only detectable target was to get pipelines which are constructed, owned and filled by Gazprom under its control. Thus came about the “gas triad” which will regulate Russian gas supplies to Europe from now on – the unbundling of transportation from supply, full predictability and transparency of pipeline tariffs and provision of third-party access. As of today, the contours of the future modus operandi are getting increasingly discernible, so we will try to disentangle some of the most complicated (and often incorrectly defined) issues surrounding Nord Stream 2.

The hurry with which the EU Gas Directive adjustments were made brings some light to the emotional background of Brussels technocrats: fast-tracking the approval process (so that instead of June it was April 15 that the CEU passed them), cutting back the transposition period from 12 months to 9 months (leaving the EC discontent as it was pushing for a largely unprecedented 3-month period). The European Commission simply needed to have it done before Gazprom can claim any further successes with the construction of Nord Stream 2. Apart from EC members directly alleging to keep the aim in view, Brussels’ only pipeline that is currently under construction and…




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