EU’s Vestager takes a tough stance against Nord Stream 2: press
EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager has criticized Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, telling Germany Handelsblatt newspaper that the EU never considered the project to be in Europe’s interest.
“We never considered Nord Stream 2 to be in the European interest,” she said. “It was very clear during the initial planning.”
She noted that there are other gas pipelines to Europe that are currently not being used at all. The Yamal-Europe pipeline that usually carries Russian gas to Germany via Belarus and Poland has been operating in the opposite direction since late December, due to a recent drop in Gazprom’s export volumes.
The European Commission has raised concerns that Nord Stream 2 may not be in Europe’s political and economic interests, although it has previously avoided taking a strong stance against the pipeline. Vestager has served as EU competition commissioner since 2014, and that year she launched legal action against Gazprom, over antitrust concerns about its business practices. This case ended in 2018, with Gazprom agreeing to reform its pricing structure and remove restrictions in its supply contracts.