Under the EU Gas Directive, pipeline operators in the European Union must ensure fair competition by allowing access to 3rd parties.
Nord Stream AG, the consortium behind the pipeline, has said that extending the EU directive to a pipeline from a 3rd country (Russia) is discriminatory and that the revision of that Gas Directive from 2019 was specifically designed to delay or stop Nord Stream 2.
In a ruling on Wednesday, the Dusseldorf Higher Regional Court upheld a previous decision of a German regulator to impose the EU Gas Directive on Nord Stream 2.
Technically, the court’s decision would not prevent the start of the flow of gas - which Gazprom says will take place as early as this year - but the Russian-led pipeline owner may need to restructure and to hold auctions for 3rd-party suppliers for the gas that would flow through Nord Stream 2.
A spokesperson for the company told The Moscow Times:
- Nord Stream 2 AG maintains that the company is being unlawfully discriminated [against]
- The rejection of Nord Stream 2 AG’s application for a derogation exposes the discriminating effect of the amended EU Gas Directive
- Nord Stream 2 AG company has taken note of the court ruling and will assess it
- We will inform about future steps in due time