Paris has settled on a compromise with Berlin, allowing Germany to remain the key negotiator with Russia on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Europe.
The agreement follows the announcement by the French Foreign Ministry on Thursday that it would support the EU’s oversight of new offshore energy pipelines. The move could have derailed the undersea pipeline plans between Russia and Germany.
According to a copy of a draft obtained by AFP, the two EU countries agreed to ensure oversight will come from the “territory and territorial sea of the member state where the first interconnection point is located.”
The draft text replaced the older wording stating the EU rules on gas imports will be applied by “the territory of the member states” and/or the “territorial sea of the member states.”
Diplomats said the draft compromise was submitted to a meeting of EU ambassadors discussing a revision of gas market rules for the 28-nation bloc.
The draft compromise reportedly addressed the concerns, saying: “We consider a (gas rules) directive in this spirit indispensable for a fruitful discussion on the future gas transit through Ukraine.”
A French diplomatic source told AFP that Paris was “not for or against Nord Stream 2.” He added, however, that it sought “guarantees for the security of Europe and for the security and stability of Ukraine.”