Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Transit of gas via Ukraine delicate issue for Central Europe. - EU commissioner

The transit of gas via Ukraine represents a delicate issue for Central Europe, European Commission Vice-president for Energy Union Maros Sefcovic said Tuesday.

Addressing the Central European Gas Congress, Sefcovic said: "I think this is an issue of extraordinary importance both in terms of geopolitics and foreign affairs policy. The issue of the transit gas route via Ukraine has been discussed in Europe at all levels imaginable."

  • Therefore, all projects that might pose a threat to transit routes via Ukraine, such as Nord Stream 2 pipeline, are the subject of heated debate, he said.

"I know that this project was presented as a purely commercial one. However, I have never seen a commercial project that would be so heavily discussed -- even at the political level," stressed Sefcovic, who has been tasked with heading up the Brussels Energy Union initiative.

  • With respect to Nord Stream 2, the EU commissioner said the goal of the EU Energy Union is to give assurances that energy security of all EU member states is growing.

"We don't want the completion of any energy project to create winners and losers. All members must benefit from the joint projects as a European community," he added.

At the same event, Slovak Deputy Prime Minister for Investments Peter Pellegrini said the existing gas infrastructure via Slovakia should be maintained and continued to be used effectively.

Pellegini said the European Energy Union project will remain in focus during Slovakia's rotating presidency of the Council of the EU in the latter half of this year.

"The aim of Slovakia's EU Presidency is to contribute significantly towards building a secure and competitive Energy Union with a forward-looking climate policy," he said.

A consortium made up of Russian Gazprom and energy companies E.ON, BASF/Wintershall, OMV, ENGIE and Royal Dutch Shell was created for the Nord Stream 2 project, slated to expand the existing Nord Stream pipeline with current capacity of 55 billion cubic meters. Nord Stream 2 is scheduled to be constructed by the end of 2019.
 [Xinhua -]

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