Poland appeals to European Court over Opal pipeline decision

The Opal pipeline. [Opal pipeline website]

Poland has appealed to the European Court of Justice over a European Commission decision to give Gazprom more capacity on the Opal gas pipeline through Germany, Polish media reported yesterday (18 December), citing a foreign ministry spokesperson.

In October, the European Commission lifted a cap on Gazprom’s use of the Opal pipeline, which carries gas from the Nord Stream pipeline under the Baltic Sea to customers in Germany and the Czech Republic.

The Commission’s decision has opened the way for Russian plans to expand Nord Stream’s capacity and bypass both Ukraine and Poland as a gas transit route.

Poland, which imports most of its gas from Russia, has criticised the EU executive’s move, saying it threatened gas supplies to Central and Eastern Europe.

Gazprom gets greater access to Germany's Opal gas pipeline

Germany’s energy regulator and Gazprom have agreed terms of a deal giving the subsidiaries of the Russian group greater access to the Opal gas pipeline, which the European Union approved a month ago.

“The situation threatens the security of gas supplies in the EU, particularly in the region of Central Europe,” said Joanna Wajda, the spokesperson cited by the PAP news agency.

“This raises a serious risk to the security of gas supply for Poland by becoming dependent on one source of supply, from Russia,” she added.

Commission opens door to further Gazprom blackmail

A recent decision of the European Commission puts the whole European diversification and energy security strategy in jeopardy, and Poland and Ukraine may take legal action against the EU executive, writes Jacek Saryusz-Wolski.

The Opal decision as well as Gazprom’s plan to build a Nord Stream 2 pipeline, embody the worst fears of the Polish conservative government which sees pacts between its powerful neighbours, Germany and Russia, as an existential threat.

In December, Polish state-run gas company PGNiG sued the European Commission over the decision.

Poland wants EU to ban Nord Stream 2

Poland wants the European Union to ban the construction of a second pipeline to pump Russian gas to Germany under the Baltic Sea, alleging it undermines the bloc’s strategic interests and violates competition rules.

 

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