The most controversial part of the agreements on Nord Stream-2 is about natural gas transit

9 june 2016 | Vedomosti

Germany will back the Nord Stream-2 pipeline project if three conditions are met: the pipeline must meet legal requirements, it must not interfere with the transit of gas across Ukraine and it must not restrict deliveries of natural gas to Eastern Europe, said Germany’s Minister for the Economy and Energy Sigmar Gabriel. The Head of the Department for Strategic Studies in Energy of the Analytical Center Alexander Kurdin believes that the most controversial provision of all is the one about gas transit.

Alexander Kurdin
Alexander Kurdin
Department for Fuel and Energy Sector

“One of the objectives of Nord Stream-2 is to create reserve delivery capacity in case Ukrainian gas transit stops after 2019, so Gazprom is in no position to guarantee that the amount of gas going across Ukraine will remain unchanged. Compromise is possible on the other points, especially if the phrasing is made more flexible,” Mr. Kurdin told a Vedomosti correspondent.

According to the expert, Germany’s backing would help the project a great deal, Germany’s position is important both for the bilateral relations between the two countries and for Russia’s relations with the EU as a whole. However,  if the experience with the South Stream project is anything to go by, even a whole range of bilateral agreements can get thrown down the chute when Brussels comes out with a consolidated position on an issue, Mr. Kurdin noted.

It should be reminded that the Nord Stream-2 pipeline with a capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year is supposed to be laid down the bottom of the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany.