Expert: a separate intergovernmental agreement on the «Nord stream-2» is not necessary

© Photo : Nord Stream 2/Axel SchmidtИнженеры are checking the first pipes for the construction of the gas pipeline Nord stream-2. Archive photoExpert: a separate intergovernmental agreement on the «Nord stream-2» is not necessary© Photo : Nord Stream 2/Axel Schmidt

Need to sign intergovernmental agreements between the EU and Russia on the construction of «Nord stream-2,» no; negotiations on this issue should contribute to the implementation of the project, not hinder it, says associate, Professor of energy law at the University of Helsinki, Finland Kim Talus.

The expert provides advice to cross-border infrastructure projects, including Nord Stream 2.

«The answer to the question whether the special agreement to the «Nord stream-2» should be «no». However, this does not mean that it cannot be concluded,» writes the Talus in his article for the magazine «Law on oil, gas and energy». The article notes that the author’s personal opinion and does not depend on Nord Stream 2.

The European Commission on Friday sent a request to the EU Council on receipt of the mandate on negotiations with Russia to create a special legal basis on which, in the opinion of the EC, should work the future gas pipeline «Nord stream-2».

What he wants the European Commission

On the «Nord stream-2» is not subject to all the rules of the EU internal market, the third energy package, since the tube will not pass through the ground part of the EU. Therefore, the EC wished to reach agreement with Russia on a number of key principles of operation of the pipeline.

Among these principles, the EC listed the transparency of the functioning of the pipeline, the establishment of non-discriminatory tariffs for pumping gas, the ability for third parties to pump gas, and separation activities for the sale and transportation of gas.

Official 2 representative Nord Stream AG, the operator of the «Nord stream-2», back in March, told RIA Novosti that the company does not believe such negotiations are necessary, as the legal structure for the project is clear. Friday 2 Nord Stream AG, said that the establishment of a special legal framework for the «Nord stream-2» for political reasons will lead to discrimination of private investment in infrastructure in the EU.»Be unacceptable, if the only motive to the conclusion of an intergovernmental agreement will be the desire of the European Commission, which was faced with the fact that the project does not fall under the European energy law and the third energy package, to bring the «Nord stream-2» under the law «the back door», via the intergovernmental agreement, or worse, to block the project for political reasons. There must be a reason for negotiations on the intergovernmental agreement, and the role of intergovernmental agreements and involved in his conclusion, countries are usually is to facilitate, not the opposition», — stated in the article.

Talus said that the implementation of the project does not require resolution of any legislative issues the intergovernmental agreement. The process of construction of the pipeline is governed by international and European law and national legislation, the operator of the gas pipeline may be regulated by the decisions of the operator or the agreements between the companies involved in the management of the pipeline.

Do not disturb permits

The negotiation of an intergovernmental agreement shall not suspend or defer the procedure for obtaining construction permits from the countries through whose territory the pipeline will pass, or to influence it. «European energy legislation should not be a factor of influence on any processes associated with the «Northern stream-2″, to the signing of the agreement», — the expert believes.

«We need to clearly separate political from legal questions. The political aspects of the project should not be confused with regulatory or legislative aspects,» writes the Talus.

«Nord stream-2» involves the construction of two pipelines with a total capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of gas off the coast of Russia through the Baltic sea to Germany. The new pipeline is planned to be build next to the «Nord stream».

For the project the necessary permits from Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany. In Sweden the permit application was filed in September 2016 in Germany in March this year, in Denmark in April.

© AFP 2017 / Eric PiermontПодписание financing agreement «Nord stream-2» between Nord Stream AG and 2 European partners in ParisExpert: a separate intergovernmental agreement on the «Nord stream-2» is not necessary© AFP 2017 / Eric PiermontПодписание financing agreement «Nord stream-2» between Nord Stream AG and 2 European partners in Paris