NS2 Asks High Court To Annul EU Gas Law
The Russia-owned Nord Stream 2 operating company has called on the EU’s highest court to annul what it describes as “discriminatory measures” the block has imposed against its gas pipeline project, the company said on July 26.
Nord Stream 2, a Swiss-registered subsidiary of Russia’s state-owned Gazprom, said it had asked the EU Court of Justice to annul an amendment to Brussels’ EU Gas Directive. Under the amendment, introduced this year, pipelines entering the EU will have to abide by bloc rules on third-party access, ownership unbundling, non-discriminatory tariffs and transparency.
In a statement, Nord Stream 2 said the amendment had been adopted specifically with its project in mind and was “an infringement of the EU law principles of equal treatment and proportionality.”
The amendment does not apply to completed pipelines, and Russia argues that Nord Stream 2 should be treated as such as the legislation was brought in after construction of the pipeline had started. As of July 16, 1,682 km or 66.3% of the pipeline had been completed, according to Gazprom.
By introducing the amendment, Nord Stream 2 claims that the EU may be in breach of the Energy Charter Treaty designed to protect international investors. However, the ultimate responsibility for applying the legislation to Nord Stream 2 lies with authorities in Germany, where the pipeline is due to make landfall.
EU rules are not the only legal threat posed to Nord Stream 2. Lawmakers in Washington are currently discussing new sanctions that would punish firms involved in its construction. And it is still waiting to hear from Denmark about which route it can use.