Ukraine agreed with the European Union to hold additional consultations to consider granting permission to Gazprom to increase gas volume through the OPAL pipeline bypassing Ukraine. If negotiations at a political level do not yield results, Naftogaz may file a claim against the European Commission, as the Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration, Kostiantyn Yelisieiev, stated during a recent briefing.
"We raised the issue related to the Nord Stream pipeline, particularly to the recent decision of the European Commission on providing Gazprom access to the OPAL system. The EU heard our arguments. We agreed to hold additional consultations to find an overall compromise to this issue," he said.
Yelisieiev added that Ukraine considers this decision controversial and says it does not take into account the energy interests of Ukraine as a member of the Energy Community Treaty.
"Ukraine is working side-by-side with EU member countries... The chairman of Naftogaz has held consultations with partners, in particular, in an effort to build a team of like-minded persons who will be able to work together with us to bring this issue into the legal sphere if it is not resolved by political means," Yelisieiev added.
In particular, according to him, the decision of the European Commission is contrary to the spirit of the Association Agreement and the Energy Community Treaty according to which if one party makes a decision, it should consult with the other countries, but none have been held with Ukraine.
On 28 October, the European Commission approved Gazprom’s increased use of the OPAL pipeline which joins the Nord Stream pipeline with the gas transport system of Central and Western Europe. Initially, Gazprom could use only 50% of OPAL’s capacity, now, according to the decision of the Commission, the enterprise can participate in auctions to pump an additional 7.7–10.2 billion cubic meters, through the pipeline, gaining access to an additional 21.4–28.3% of its capacity.
Through OPAL, the countries of the Central Europe will have access to Russian gas while bypassing Ukraine.