Poland and the Ukraine move to block Gazprom's access to OPAL

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Poland and the Ukraine move to block Gazprom's access to OPAL

Mon, 03/13/2017 - 15:42
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European Court of Justice in Luxembourg (Peter Fuchs / Shutterstock)
European Court of Justice in Luxembourg (Peter Fuchs / Shutterstock)

In a bid to counter Gazprom''s access to Germany's Opal gas pipeline, Ukrainian state energy company Naftogaz is attempting to join Polish gas supplier PGNiG in a court case challenging the EU decision granting Gazprom greater access to the pipeline,
as ptj reported previously.

Naftogaz said last week it had asked permission from the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to intervene in the case initiated by state-controlled PGNiG at the end of last year.

This undertaking comes in wake of the European Commission's decision last October to grant Gazprom access to the Opal system, which carries gas from Nordstream in the Baltic Sea to customers in Germany and the Czech Republic.

As Poland imports most of its gas from Russia it is particularly troubled by the decision, as it believes it threatened gas supplies to Central and Eastern Europe and would strengthen Gazprom’s dominant position in the region.

The Ukraine has pledged to work together with Poland to block projects that would result in Gazprom gaining greater access to the European market.

And this seems to already have had some effect: on 23 December 2016 the EU suspended its decision on OPAL and final judgment on whether the granting Gazprom greater access complies with EU legislation is still to be made.

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