Germany will be looking to regulate the controversial Russia-led Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline project using its national sovereignty, a senior German energy official said on Monday in comments implying that only the EU section of the pipeline would fall under the recent changes in the European Union’s gas directive.
“We would like to say that we will be implementing this compromise directly, and do not see any need for a further mandate,” S&P Global Platts quoted German parliamentary state secretary at the federal energy ministry, Thomas Bareiss, as saying at the EU energy ministers’ council in Brussels on Monday.
Germany is the end-point of the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, which will follow the existing Nord Stream natural gas pipeline between Russia and Germany via the Baltic Sea. Germany supports Nord Stream 2 and sees the project as a private commercial venture that will help it to meet rising natural gas demand.
Several European companies—ENGIE, OMV, Shell, as well as Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall—are partners of Russia’s gas giant Gazprom in the Nord Stream 2 project.
United States, however, has long opposed the Gazprom-led Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline and has hinted that it could impose sanctions on companies involved in the project.
Several EU member states, including Poland and Lithuania, also see the new pipeline project as a threat to Europe’s energy diversification and as boosting Russia’s grip on European gas supplies even more.
“We are...glad that gas pipelines will be covered by the sovereignty of the member states through whose territory or seas they go through, and will be the responsibility of that member state’s competent authorities,” Germany’s Bareiss said on Monday.
According to Platts, the comments of the German official imply that Germany would not be seeking an inter-governmental agreement with Russia on the entire pipeline, but will instead focus on regulating the EU section of the project covering 12 nautical miles from the German coast.