- For the deal to go into effect, the fierce opposition from members of the US Congress must first be overcome and some particularly skeptical EU countries persuaded to sit down.
- Russia must also be persuaded to liberalize its energy sector, relinquish ownership of the gas pipeline and pay Ukraine 20 billion euros in compensation for lost transit fees.
- Once construction is complete and gas starts flowing, Berlin may have little or no influence over Moscow to force it to comply with EU law.
- The Ukrainian government has made it clear that it does not intend to succumb to the whims of Berlin and Washington
- The EU will have a hard time explaining why the US and Germany – just one of 27 EU member states – suddenly set up an energy policy for the whole of society.
in the face of huge Opponents of Russia’s gas pipeline angeredChancellor Angela Merkel admitted that her agreement with President Joe Biden did not resolve their political differences, and much remains unknown.
“The agreement with the US government does not reinforce differences, but it does not overcome all differences,” Merkel said at a news conference. Differences remain.
About the agreement, she said: “It is an attempt between us and the US government to set certain conditions that must also be implemented. I am happy that we have succeeded so far. We also have many tasks ahead of us.”
These tasks are by no means small and include overcoming stiff opposition from some members of the US Congress, persuading some particularly skeptical EU countries to the council, persuading Russia to liberalize its energy sector, relinquishing ownership of a €9.5 billion pipeline and paying Ukraine 20 billion An additional euro by 2034 to make up for the loss of gas transmission fees that the new pipeline would make redundant.
While some influential Germany – notably the former chancellor and current chair of the supervisory board at Nord Stream 2, Gerhard Schroeder – played a key role in ensuring the pipeline was completed, Berlin may already have little or no influence on MoscowWhen construction is complete and gas begins to flow.
US Senator Jane Shaheen, a Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee who co-authored US sanctions on the pipeline, said she was “skeptical” of the deal, given that “a major player at the table – Russia – refuses to play by the rules.”
The rest of the text is below the video
Kiev is not satisfied
Perhaps the biggest obstacle is the political and legal challenges posed by the Ukrainian government, which has made it clear that it does not intend to bow to the whims of Berlin and Washington.
On Thursday, the European Commission – which officially opposes the Nord Stream 2 project but reiterated that it cannot stop it without a clear violation of EU law – had difficulty explaining. Why the United States and Germany, only one of the 27 member states of the bloc, suddenly began to set up energy policy for the entire European Union.
Oddly enough, the Commission’s explanation began by repeating its position that Nord Stream 2 was a bad idea in general.
“As you know, as we’ve said before, Nord Stream is not a project of common European interest,” said Tim McVeigh, a spokesperson for the Commission on climate and energy policy.
However, McVeigh continued, the Commission’s goal has always been to ensure that Nord Stream 2, if built, should operate in a transparent and non-discriminatory manner, with an appropriate degree of regulatory oversight and in line with international energy law and the European Union.
Then he added, perhaps in an attempt to persuade the Commission itself: – The implementation of the EU’s energy policy is a matter of the EU and its member states.
Except in the case of Biden, Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin, apparently.
For her part, Merkel stressed that Germany is obligated to ensure that “Ukraine will remain a transit country and that energy cannot be used to put Ukraine in a difficult situation.”
However, given the geography of Ukraine and the military conflict with Russia, it will inevitably remain in a difficult situation.
Will Germany watch the union?
McVeigh, a spokesperson for the commission, said Brussels was pleased that Germany intended to comply with EU energy law as part of an agreement with Washington.
“The Commission takes note of the statement issued by the German and American governments and welcomes Germany’s firm commitment to respecting the letter and spirit of the third Nord Stream 2 energy package,” he said.
However, the question remains whether the Commission will have the courage to object if the German energy regulator agrees to operate the pipeline without fully complying with EU gas regulations – a concern repeatedly by green MEPs in the European Parliament. [Chodzi o zasadę, że właściciel rurociągu nie może być jednocześnie właścicielem przesyłanego nim paliwa].
Claus-Dieter Borchardt, former deputy director general of the European Commission’s Energy Department, said in 2019 that Brussels should not accept any technical solutions. It’s just that the commission’s intervention is not technically required.
Another issue is to what extent Brussels and Berlin are legally obligated to assess regulatory approval for Nord Stream 2 in the context of existing pipelines in Ukraine.
On Wednesday, Kiev referred to a clause in its political partnership agreement with the European Union, which requires consultations on energy infrastructure, taking into account existing pipelines, security of supply and energy problems.
On Thursday, the commission said it had not yet received an official request from Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, but the Ukrainian side says a formal written request has been sent to Brussels and has also been handed over to the EU representative in Kiev.
Dana Spinant, Deputy Head of Spokesperson for the European Commission, stressed that there will be additional discussions between member states on the US-German agreement.
“We should take a closer look at the details of this political agreement that was announced yesterday,” Spynant said, dismissing the question about the terms of the deal that appeared to call for the European Union to provide financial aid to Ukraine, noting that the payments must be approved as part of the The European Union’s regular budget process.
“Any contribution that the EU can make to Ukraine will be discussed with member states,” she said.
Authors: David M. Herszenhorn, America Hernandez, and Laurenz Gehrke
Editing: Mishaw Bronatowski
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