The German Federal Grid Agency refused Nord Stream 2 AG, the operator of the Nord Stream-2 construction project, to remove the gas pipeline from the norms of the updated EU gas directive.
This decision means that the pipeline operator must reserve at least half the capacity for alternative suppliers, despite their absence. In other words, Gazprom, which has a monopoly on pipeline deliveries of Russian gas abroad, will be able to supply only 27.5 billion cubic meters per year, and not 55 billion.
The ministry said that in order to withdraw from the directive, the construction had to be completed by May 2019. The regulator rejected the arguments of Gazprom, which claimed that all funds were invested in the project before this date, which means that it can be considered complete.
Earlier, when the construction of Nord Stream-2 began, the gas directive of the European Union concerned only gas pipelines passing through the region. Thus, deliveries under OPAL, which was a continuation of the first Nord Stream pipeline, were limited.
The standards were changed against the backdrop of active opposition to construction by Ukraine, the USA, the Baltic countries, and Poland. They believe that the project is exclusively political and will lead to increased dependence of Europe on Russia.
US sanctions imposed in accordance with this logic halted the construction of a gas pipeline off the coast of Germany. Currently, Russia intends to complete it on its own. The German port of Mukran, which is the construction base, arrived at the Akademik Chersky pipe-laying machine owned by Gazprom. Earlier, Russian officials repeatedly claimed that he was able to complete the work, but his activities were not officially reported. The reasons for his stay in Mukran also did not comment.