A European court on Wednesday rebuffed a complaint from companies building the Nord Stream 1 and 2 natural gas pipelines against an EU anti-trust law, calling it “inadmissible”.
The companies, including Russia's state-owned energy company Gazprom, had claimed the EU directive unfairly targets their links between Russia and Germany through the Nord Stream project which carries Russian gas directly to Germany via the Baltic Sea.
According to the ruling of the General Court of the European Union on the EU law that was adopted on April 19, 2019, and which concerns common rules for the EU's internal natural gas market, rejected the companies' claims.
The Nord Stream project has been operational since 2011 with an annual capacity of 55 billion cubic meters.
The Nord Stream 2, an extension of the first Nord Stream pipeline, spearheaded by Gazprom, is nearing completion and has the same annual capacity, running almost parallel to the first pipeline route. Together they will meet the annual gas demands of a quarter of the European continent.
However, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline has been a controversial project as previously, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Ukraine along with Denmark expressed their opposition to the project, arguing that it would increase the EU's dependence on Russian gas while urging that Europe instead focus on diversifying its energy resources.
It also has been the target of pressure from the US administration on Germany to abandon the project back in December 2019 and they later planned to apply sanctions against companies involved in its construction.
On Dec. 9, 2019, US legislators agreed on a 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, which includes measures to punish companies involved in Nord Stream 2, from Russia to Germany.
By Sibel Morrow