EU gives cautious welcome to Polish-Russian gas delivery deal
The European Union's top energy official gave a cautious welcome Thursday to a gas delivery deal signed last week between Poland and Russia, dpa reported.
The European Commission was looking for reassurances from Poland that the agreement would not breach EU competition laws by guaranteeing third party access to Yamal, the biggest pipeline bringing Russian gas into Europe.
"We managed to ensure that the Intergovernmental agreement between Russia and Poland was brought into line with EU law," EU energy commissioner Guenther Oettinger said in a speech in Warsaw.
Earlier on Thursday, Polish officials had presented to Oettinger's aides in Brussels details of the deal with Russia.
"We are satisfied with the outcome of the meeting as well as with the good cooperation with the Polish and Russian authorities," the EU commissioner said.
He indicated that as a result of EU intervention, provisions preventing Poland from re-exporting gas supplied by Russia were scrapped, while Gaz-System, the state company due to take over operations of the Polish section of Yamal, will be be bound by non-discriminatory clauses.
However, Oettinger stressed that "further measures" were needed from the Polish energy regulator and Gaz-System to ensure those conditions were fulfilled.
"The Polish authorities will confirm in writing their commitment to ensure compliance with Polish and EU law through these implementing decisions," the commissioner said.
The Polish-Russian deal foresees a boost in Russian gas deliveries to Poland to 10 billion cubic metres a year between 2012 to 2022, up by about 2 billion cubic metres from current levels.