The decision of the European Court of Justice on the OPAL gas pipeline will affect the negotiations between Russia, Ukraine and the European Commission, which will be held in Brussels on September 19, Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in an interview with Rossiya-24 TV channel.
"I think from the point of view of negotiations, this situation will be surely taken into account. In my opinion, this is a decision that affects the overall situation with the energy supply of European countries, with gas flows and gas supplies," Novak said.
On September 10, it was reported that the European Court of Justice canceled the decision of the European Commission dated 2016, according to which Gazprom could fully use the capacities of the Opal gas pipeline. Opal is a branch pipe connecting Nord Stream to the gas transmission system of Central and Western Europe. Its capacity is 36 bln cubic meters per year.
For several years, Russia could use only 50% of the pipeline’s capacity, as prescribed in the EU’s Third Energy Package. Gazprom asked for permission to use Opal’s 100% capacity, as the Russian holding company is the only gas supplier to the Nord Stream pipeline, which receives gas via Opal. In the autumn of 2016, the EC allowed Gazprom to participate in auctions for the right to use another 40% of Opal's transit capacities.