NordStream2's political impact is starting the crank up. I really wonder if some members of the EU have really absorbed the ramifications of the start of increased supplies of gas to China around the start of 2020. In particular that it provides a revenue stream should supplies to Europe be interrupted with the end of transit through Ukraine and no NordStream2 online. Whilst Russia is pretty emphatic that it does not break gas supply contracts, if those contracts run out (as the Ukraine transit ones will) then what?
The European Commission has drawn up plans to ensure that a new Russia-Germany gas pipeline - Nord Stream 2 - does not reshape EU energy markets for Russia's strategic gain.
But the draft plan, a classified 10-page document seen by EUobserver, will only take effect if EU states give the green light, amid Germany's likely preference for handling Nord Stream 2 talks with Russia without EU involvement.
Energy commissioner Maros Sefcovic likely to lead potential talks with Russia (Photo: ec.europa.eu)
The plan calls for an EU Council decision "authorising the opening of negotiations on an agreement between the European Union and the Russian Federation on the operation of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline".
It says the agreement is to "ensure a coherent regulatory framework contributing to market functioning and security of supply".
It also says the Commission should be the "head of the Union's negotiating team", but that it would conduct the Russia talks "in consultation" with "a special committee" of EU states' officials.
In what is likely to feel like poison in Russia's ear, the 10-page paper insists, in an annex, that Nord Stream 2 should abide by EU laws on "unbundling" and "third party access".
More on this at https://euobserver.com/energy/139023