Nord Stream 2 clashes with Ukraine’s interests

22 august 2016 | Rossiyskaya Gazeta

The Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine is asking the participants of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project to clear its implementation with Ukraine “to prevent the violation of the law on economic competition.” Analytical Center expert Alexander Kurdin says the Ukrainian government simply wants to remind everyone that Nord Stream 2 clashes with Ukraine’s interest or, perhaps, it is an attempt by the Ukrainian Antimonopoly Committee to call everyone’s attention to its existence.

Alexander Kurdin
Alexander Kurdin
Department for Fuel and Energy Sector

From a legal standpoint, Ukraine’s claim looks rather strange, experts note. “Ukraine is not a member of the EU and has nothing to do with the second stage of the Nord Stream project,” Analytical Center expert Alexander Kurdin said, commenting on the situation to a Rossiyskaya Gazeta correspondent.

The pipeline itself does not in any way violate any antitrust regulations. “I mean when Poland attacked the project, their antimonopoly agency focused not on any problems with the project itself but on the fact that major suppliers could join forces to set up a joint venture,” the analyst noted.

“It would appear that some form of business organization was found that will allow the companies behind the project to work together without creating a new legal entity,” Mr. Kurdin believes. - “’For instance, it could be a set of bilateral agreements between Gazprom and the minority shareholders of the now ditched joint venture. From the point of view of costs and hassle, this kind of organization could be preferable than the normal joint venture approach when implementing projects like this.”