Deal Made With EU on Gas Pipeline Use
- Sep. 18 2013 00:00
- Last edited 17:18
European Unionáofficials andáRussiaáhave agreed on a deal on the use ofáGermany's OPAL link to Gazprom'sáNord Streamágas pipeline, a Russian energy ministry spokeswoman said.
No one from theáEuropean Commission was available for immediate comment on the deal, which ends months of talks on the OPAL pipeline that runs from the offshore section of Nord Stream through Germanyáto the Czech border.
A deal could help improve tense relations betweenáRussiaáand theáEU, although the bigger issue of the European Commission's competition investigation into Gazprom is unresolved.
"The ministry and the EU have reached an agreement on theáOPAL pipeline. The agreement is to the satisfaction of both sides. They aim to sign the deal by the end of October," a Russian spokeswoman said late Monday.
Two EU sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said a working party meeting had reached a political deal, which still needed legal endorsement.
Neither the Russian ministry nor the EU sources disclosed details and would not say whetheráRussia was getting the full access to the pipeline that it had been demanding.
Relations betweenáRussiaáand theáEuropean Unionáhave been soured by EU efforts to introduce more competition and reduce Russian dominance of the bloc's gas market.
Gazprom's access to the 470-kilometeráOPAL pipelineáhas been limited because of the EU's Third Energy Package legislation, which aims to prevent firms that already dominate supply from also controlling transport networks.