Free European Union flags image, public domain CC0 photo.

On Tuesday, the operator of Nord Stream 2, a pipeline meant to treble Russia’s gas supplies to Germany, won an appeal in the European Union’s highest court after contesting European Union laws that require distinct firms to construct, manage, and own pipelines.

Nord Stream 2 AG, located in Switzerland, was advised in 2020 that it could not file an appeal against EU laws requiring demand operators to be independent from gas suppliers.

However, the premise of the General Court’s finding – that the regulations would have no effect on the corporation – was overturned by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on Tuesday.

Nord Stream 2 AG is the Swiss subsidiary of Russian gas giant Gazprom (GAZP.MM), which finished the Baltic Sea pipeline last year. However, it has yet to open because German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that it would not be operational since ties with Moscow had deteriorated ahead of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The ECJ concluded that “the General Court was wrong to hold that Nord Stream 2 AG was not directly concerned” by EU pipeline laws and remanded the matter to the General Court.

Russia has reduced gas exports to Europe, and governments, markets, and businesses are concerned that Moscow would further limit gas delivery.

Nord Stream 1, the largest single pipeline transporting Russian gas to Germany, started yearly maintenance on Monday, with flows set to halt for 10 days, but many are concerned that the suspension may be prolonged due to the Ukraine conflict.

Source: Reuters

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