Germany boycotts benefits for Nord Stream 2?
The Bundestag failed to adopt amendments to the EU gas directive, which would soften the law for Russia's Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline, according to the DPA agency.
Before deciding on the directive, the right-wing party Alternative for Germany requested an individual voting in order to verify whether there was a quorum. It turned out that only 133 parliamentarians took part, but 355 votes are needed to make a decision, Interfax reports.
The Bundestag has 709 members and requires more than half of its members present when bills are voted on. But this meeting was held at night, which caused a small number of those present. As a result, voting was postponed indefinitely.
A leading analyst of the National Energy Security Fund, a lecturer at the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation, Igor Yushkov, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that if the amendments are adopted, it would facilitate Gazprom's operation of the Nord Stream-2. "According to current legislation, it turns out that the pipeline falls under the Third Energy Package, under which half of the pipeline has to be reserved for third companies. However, no alternative supplier can be laid there - the pipe goes from Russia's coast, and only Gazprom has the right to export pipeline gas in Russia. Therefore, the current European regulation is de facto sanctions against the Russian project," he said.
One way to avoid this would be to adopt a law by Germany under which Nord Stream-2 would be considered completed before these requirements were introduced. "Berlin suggested to consider the project as completed not when the last pipe was laid, but when the last funds were allocated. This would allow us to say that the new requirements do not apply to Nord Stream-2, which was completed before May 2019, when they were introduced. If they don’t adopt this document, Gazprom will have to submit a request for exclusion of the Nord Stream-2 from the Third Energy Package, and prove that it cannot take any alternative suppliers from the sea," Igor Yushkov said.
"That is, Nord Stream-2 will be launched on time, as regulatory regulations do not interfere with construction and launch. But they will limit the use of the pipeline. MPs no longer look at the economic benefits for the state and national interests, they consider the mood of voters. If the voter is brain-washed that Nord Stream-2 is a bad thing, the voter turns against this project, which means that the deputy will vote against it. And it doesn’t matter that in reality Nord Stream-2 is beneficial for the German economy," the expert concluded.