Questionable Gazprom's pipeline
Russian Gazprom's plans to operate the planned pipeline, supply the gas passing through it and establish tariffs are in violation of EU law, said Marlene Holzner, a spokeswoman for the EU energy commissioner.
"We believe that in the European energy market, gas security and also competition is best served if there is not one company importing and producing gas, owning the pipeline and fixing the tariff," Ms. Holzner said in comments carried by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
Ms. Holzner said other companies, including from Germany and France, should also be allowed to supply the gas. According to EU law, an independent managing company should set the tariffs, which should be confirmed by a state regulator, she said.
Gazprom deputy chairman Alexander Medvedev told a Brussels meeting that all 63 billion cubic meters of gas that will flow through the link had found buyers, Reuters reported.
South Stream, which is set to pass from the Black Sea to southern and central Europe, is expected to begin commercial operation in 2016, with its full annual capacity of 63 billion cubic meters to be reached in 2018 It is planned that the pipeline will go through Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, Greece, Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia. ■