Germany should not certify Nord Stream 2 until Russia grants third parties access to Ukrainian GTS - Naftogaz CEO

Germany should not certify Nord Stream 2 until Russia grants third parties access to Ukrainian GTS - Naftogaz CEO

Unblocking the access of European buyers to purchasing Russian and Central Asian gas on the eastern border of Ukraine and independently booking transit facilities is a legally mandatory prerequisite for the certification of Nord Stream 2.

That’s according to Yuriy Vitrenko, Chairman of the Board of NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine, Ukrinform reports referring to the company press service.

"Third-party access cannot be provided solely to Nord Stream 2 as this would make it precisely more privileged than other gas pipelines connecting Russia with Europe, including through Ukraine. The German regulator should not certify Nord Stream2 until Russia unblocks the Ukrainian gas pipeline for third parties so that European companies could receive gas at the Ukraine-Russia border and then book transit through Ukraine on their own," Vitrenko said.

According to the Naftogaz chief, providing free access exclusively to Nord Stream 2 without Russia's unblocking of the Ukrainian transit route would be contrary to the principle of solidarity laid down in the Treaty establishing the European Union.

Read also: Nord Stream 2 to be stopped if Russia abuses it - candidate running for German chancellor

Also, Vitrenko recalled the judgment of the European Court, which obliged the German regulator to apply the principle of solidarity in the certification of gas pipelines.

The head of Naftogaz also stressed that Ukraine did not ask for political guarantees in the international negotiations on Nord Stream 2, while demanding strict implementation of current legislation.

"Ukraine's strategy is not to ask for any guarantees and then rely on them. Because we have a sad experience of the Budapest Memorandum and, therefore, we do not really believe in that. We all understand that Gazprom and Putin in Europe are trying to use the law of strength, while our strength lies precisely in the legal validity of our position," said Vitrenko.

As reported earlier, Russia's gas monopoly Gazprom on September 10 announced the completion of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, laid from Russia to Germany along the bottom of the Baltic Sea, thus bypassing Ukraine. Russia’s Gazprom is a sole shareholder in the project.

Read also: Gas shortage in Europe can be tackled if Gazprom allows buying gas at Russia-Ukraine border - Vitrenko

Germany's Federal Network Agency has been reviewing since September 8 the Nord Stream 2 certification application, filed by the operator, Nord Stream 2 AG.

Ukraine, Poland, the Baltic countries, and the United States have opposed the pipeline. The German side assures it will do everything to ensure that Ukraine retains its transit role, expecting from Russia guarantees that the gas transit contract with Ukraine be extended after the current 5-year deal, signed in December 2019, expires.


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