EU tentative deal could affect Russia-Germany gas pipeline

The European Union institutions have agreed on a tentative deal that will likely complicate plans for a gas pipeline from Russia to Germany

The EU Commission said Wednesday that the agreement with the member states and the EU parliament will tighten regulation and oversight and impose tougher conditions.

The United States, which wants to sell its liquefied natural gas to Germany and other European countries, has called the pipeline a form of Russian control over Germany and a threat to European energy security.

EU Energy Commissioner Arias Canete said "that everyone interested in selling gas to Europe must respect European energy law."

European Parliament rapporteur Jerzy Buzek said that "with today's deal, all future gas pipelines from non-EU countries, including Nord Stream 2, will have to abide by EU rules."

Under the draft deal, EU member states have less power to broker deals with non-EU nations and the EU Commission will have more oversight and power to judge whether a deal threatens competition or the region's energy security.

Once the new regulations are finalized, experts say they will subject Russia's state-controlled gas company, Gazprom, to EU regulations on the pipeline, and will not allow it to be its sole operator.

The deal must now be formally approved by the legislature and EU member states, but that is not expected to be a problem.


Dave Rising in Berlin contributed to this report.