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Donald Tusk urges EU nations to change rules to regulate Nord Stream 2

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World Pipelines,

The European Commission is proposing to extend EU internal energy market rules to cover offshore gas pipelines, which it sees as undercutting EU efforts to reduce dependence on Moscow and its support for Kiev.

“I would like to encourage you to proceed swiftly with this proposal,” Tusk said in a letter to the heads of the bloc’s 28 nations. “Time is of the essence, if we are to achieve the objectives of our Energy Union.”

In a short, direct letter sent to the 28 member states, Tusk urged leaders to move quickly to apply the gas directive to import pipelines like Nord Stream 2 – a project that he has previously said would “not serve the best European interest” and would leave Ukraine “at Russia’s mercy”.

Mr Tusk’s letter raises the pressure for the council and parliament to quickly approve the amendment before the project is completed in 2019. 

If gas flows through Nord Stream 2 before the legislation is changed, Germany could grant the new Baltic pipeline an exemption from the rules using a simplified procedure with no oversight from Brussels.

Nord Stream insists the project is commercial, however critics argue it is a political move that runs counter to the EU’s objective to cut energy dependence on Moscow and keep gas flowing through Ukraine, which earns Kiev billions of dollars annually.

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