: :inin Kyiv (EET)

Ukrainian and Polish Presidents criticize European Commission`s move to grant Gazprom access to OPAL


President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and President of Poland Andrzej Duda on Friday, December 2, delivered a Joint Statement calling for the revision of the European Commission`s decision that allows Gazprom to increase volume of gas supply to Europe bypassing Ukraine.

”Ukraine and the Republic of Poland were stunned by the European Commission`s decision of October 28, 2016, that provides an opportunity for Gazprom to increase volume of gas supply to Europe bypassing Ukraine. Content and approval procedure of this decision may violate mutual obligations within the Treaty establishing the Energy Community,” the Joint Statement by the Presidents of Ukraine and Poland reads, according to the Ukrainian president`s press service.

”The decision contradicts the policy of sanctions of the EU as it stimulates additional cash inflows to Russia limiting Ukraine`s profits from gas transit,” both leaders emphasized.

”We believe this decision should be revised although we understand it may be a difficult and burdensome step,” the document reads.

The two presidents pointed out that the EC`s decision did not meet the rules and principles of the Energy Community and contradicted the achievement of the fundamental goal of the organization – unity of energy independent Europe. It undermines the principle of the Treaty establishing the Energy Community, as well as the rules of competition.

According to the statement, the decision also violates the provisions of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement, as well as the spirit of political association and deep and comprehensive economic integration.

”The Commission`s decision on OPAL undermines the strategy of energy security of the EU, constitutes a menace to energy security of Central and Eastern Europe dependent on gas supply from one source and hinders establishment of an efficient Energy Union in Europe aimed to reduce dependence on Russian gas supply, diversify sources and routes of gas supply, as well as maintain common position at negotiations with third countries – suppliers of energy,” the presidents noted.

The two leaders emphasized that the move posed real threats to unhindered gas supply between Poland and Ukraine, as well as to substantial redirection of existing gas flows between other countries.

”It will exacerbate polarization of discussions on other topics encouraging supporters of Russia in the EU member-states and institutions. It will undermine competition, enhancing the benefits of Russia: market positions of Gazprom, the most dominant player in the market; capacity of Gazprom to manipulate gas prices for certain countries; transit route and source of gas supply,” the statement reads.

According to the joint statement, the given decision lays the foundation for the construction of Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which may entail ruination of Ukraine`s gas transport system, further violation of competition rules and significant gas price increase for consumers.

”In this context, the decision endangers energy security of both Ukraine and the EU, for it compromises security of supply. The decision puts into question the EU`s capability and readiness to stick to its own legislation and oppose Russian pressure,” the Statement reads.

The heads of state emphasized that optimization of access for Gazprom and supplies from Russia to the EU`s natural gas market would encourage Russian destructive actions in the internal market of the EU and further pressure aimed at promoting its political agenda with the EU and other countries, inter alia, with Ukraine. The EU will also significantly disrupt Ukrainian and Polish efforts aimed at diversification of gas supply.


See also: Naftogaz tells of consequences for Gazprom in case it loses Stockholm arbitration


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