According to Reuters, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said during his visit to Stockholm that the joint venture of Russian and European companies to build a second gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea, Nord Stream 2, was a “bad deal”.
The deal for the construction of an extension to the existing Nord Stream pipeline, the €10bn Nord Stream 2 project, was signed by state-owned Russian gas giant Gazprom, British-Dutch Shell, French Engie, Austrian OMV, and German Uniper and Wintershall in 2015.
The project is scheduled to be completed in 2019 and will double Nord Stream’s capacity to 110 billion cubic meters of gas per year.
Several Eastern European countries as well as the United States have expressed concerns that an extended Nord Stream pipeline would endanger the energy security of the European Union.
The Polish competitive regulatory authority announced in late July this year that it was against the venture, as it would concentrate too much power in a single business and lead to unfair competition. The deal would further strengthen Gazprom, directly controlled by Putin’s government, which already plays a leading role in Poland’s gas supply.
Even though neither Nord Stream nor the extension project touch on Polish territory, the authority’s decision represents a serious setback for the companies that would like to see it built as soon as possible.
Now that the option of a joint venture in the form of a single company was off the table, they would continue to look for ways forward in a different form, the companies announced. The project, meanwhile, would continue.
Editor: Editor: Dario Cavegn