Germany should proceed based on the principle of European solidarity when considering certification of the Nord Stream 2 Operator and take into account the recent decision of the EU Court of Justice on the OPAL gas pipeline, stated Chairman of the Board of Naftogaz of Ukraine National Joint Stock Company Yuriy Vitrenko during a July 31 appearance on Radio Liberty.
Vitrenko stressed that the German Regulator must apply the principle of solidarity, as confirmed by the ruling of the European Court of Justice on OPAL. Previously, the German Regulator was reluctant to apply this principle. “We look to Germany, regardless of what happens in other countries. The European Court of Justice has said "No." The German Regulator should take into account the interests of other countries," Vitrenko commented.
Vitrenko stressed that the commissioning of Nord Stream 2 will pose a threat not only to Ukraine, but also to a number of other countries in the region.
"Even if we consider that Germany is an EU country while Ukraine is not yet an EU member, there is Poland. The Ukrainian gas pipeline goes to Germany via Slovakia and Austria, via Slovakia and the Czech Republic, through Poland. These are EU countries! These are our geopolitical partners. Together, we will make sure that both the German Regulator and the European Commission ensure compliance with the solidarity principle approved by the European Court of Justice. This decision is a very important one for Ukraine," Vitrenko said.
The Chairman of the Board of Naftogaz noted that certification of the Nord Stream 2 Operator would contradict the standards of the EU Third Energy Package.
"The Nord Stream 2 Operator is controlled by Gazprom and by Putin directly. Moreover, European legislation makes clear that a group of individuals or one person cannot control both gas production and transportation. Even the joint statement of the United States and Germany stipulates this. They say they will do everything to ensure the application of European law and the Third Energy Package both to the letter and in spirit. We must ensure non-certification of this Operator since it will not be in any sense independent," Vitrenko stated.
He also recalled that Russia, contrary to European legislation, denies third parties access to gas transportation both through its "streams" and through the Ukrainian route.
"The Nord Stream 2 Operator will not provide free access to third parties so that all companies could transport gas from Russia to Germany through this pipeline, and not just Gazprom. We will emphasize this," the Chairman of the Naftogaz Board added.
Vitrenko stressed that despite the anticipated completion of Nord Stream 2 in the coming months, the fight against the Kremlin project is far from over.
"We have lost a battle but we have not lost the war. Our struggle against the Nord Stream 2 geopolitical project continues. The battle over the construction of Nord Stream 2 has been lost. It now seems inevitable that the pipeline will be completed. However, the current battle is to ensure that even if completed, this geopolitical weapon will never operate as the Kremlin intends. This is an entirely realistic goal. There are numerous levers available and we are now actively using them," he concluded.
Integrated Communications Department
Naftogaz of Ukraine NJSC