The European Commission on Tuesday allowed Gazprom to increase the gas flow through the pipeline OPAL – a continuation of the “Nord stream” on land
According to The Wall Street Journal, citing two sources, the European Commission agreed to the use of “Gazprom” more than 50% of the capacity of the OPAL gas pipeline, which connects Nord stream to the Baltic sea and stretches through the territory of Germany to place the Brand on the German-Czech border.
Since 2011, Gazprom had the right to use the OPAL only 50%, and the rest of the pipeline is not used by anybody. Under the new agreement the Russian company will retain its stake, but will have the right to increase the capacity through the auction. Condition – 10-20% capacity, “Gazprom” will have to provide other suppliers in order not to violate European law.
The WSJ believes that despite disagreements between Moscow and Brussels on the issue of business both parties act on the basis of pragmatic considerations.
It is noted that in 2013 “Gazprom” almost managed to negotiate with the German authorities about increasing capacity on OPAL, but after the annexation of Crimea to Russia and the beginning of the armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine, the European Commission refused to confirm the deal.
“Gazprom” has considered the obstacles faced in access to the pipeline, is politically motivated. In the summer of 2014, the head of “Gazprom export” Alexander Medvedev called the behavior of Brussels in the situation with the OPAL “politicking”.
Thanks to OPAL access to Russian gas get Central European countries, and this happens to bypass the territory of Ukraine.