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EU parliament backs regulation of Nord Stream 2

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World Pipelines,

EU lawmakers backed draft rules yesterday to extend the bloc’s internal energy market laws to offshore gas pipelines such as Russia’s planned Nord Stream 2 link to Germany.

Lawmakers on the European Parliament’s industry committee voted 41 votes to 13 in favour of the European Commission’s proposal, with 9 abstentions.

The European Commission’s proposal is supported by east European and Baltic countries, many of which fear that the 1225 km (760 mile) pipeline will undermine EU efforts to reduce dependence on Moscow and EU support for Ukraine by depriving it of gas transit fees.

The pipeline’s backers, including Germany, oppose the rule change as an attempt to block construction of what they see as a purely commercial project.

In its current form, the Nord Stream 2 project – being fully owned by Russia’s gas export monopoly Gazprom – does not comply with the EU’s third energy package rules.

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