UPDATE: EU Council gets mandate to mull EU gas directive with parliament
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MOSCOW, Feb 8 (PRIME) -- The Romanian Presidency of the European Council has acquired a mandate to start negotiations over amendments to the E.U. gas directive, which should regulate RussiaТs Nord Stream-2 natural gas pipeline, with the European Parliament, the presidency said on Friday on its Twitter page.
УRomanian Presidency was given the mandate in an E.U. Council COREPER1 meeting to enter negotiations with the European Parliament on the amendment of the E.U. Gas directive,Ф the statement read.
A source in the European Parliament told PRIME that the key negotiations between the E.U. Council and the parliament will start next week Jerzy Buzek, chairman of the European ParliamentТs Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE), said on his Twitter page that he hoped the talks on Tuesday in Strasbourg will be constructive.
Earlier in the day, German Chancellor Angela Merkel confirmed the fact that Berlin and Paris reached an agreement over the directive. УRegarding the gas directive, we have reached an agreement and this was possible because Germany and France worked closely together,Ф Merkel said in a news conference as quoted by Reuters.
Previously, AFP reported that Germany and France reached a compromise over the Nord Stream-2 amendments to the directive, stating that Germany will oversee revision of the directive as the first interconnector of the pipeline is located in its territory.
According to Bloomberg, Merkel also said that the E.U. will never rely purely on Russian gas, and it will ensure diversification of supplies, including through purchases of liquefied natural gas.
The European Commission offered amendments to the E.U. gas directive in 2017, suggesting applying the E.U. third energy package to all pipelines that run through the E.U. territory to and from third countries. The package demands non-discriminatory regulation of tariffs and provision of access of third parties to gas pumping.
The Nord Stream-2 project envisages construction of two lines of a natural gas pipeline with an annual capacity of up to 55 billion cubic meters, running from the Russian shore to Germany under the Baltic Sea. Gazprom will implement the project together with GermanyТs E.ON and BASF, Royal Dutch Shell, OMV, and FranceТs Engie.