Gazprom to seek exemption for Slovenian stretch of South Stream from EU laws

Russia’s gas giant Gazprom wants to exempt the Slovenian part of the South Stream pipeline, designed to carry gas to Europe under the Black Sea, from European Union legislation, documents prepared for Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s visit to Ljubljana said on Tuesday.

Gazprom and Slovenia’s gas network operator Geoplin Plinovodi plan to set up a joint venture on Tuesday to build the Slovenian stretch of South Stream.

“One of the most significant and important tasks of the joint venture … is likely to be filing a request to receive the right for necessary exemptions from the new gas directive (regulating third party access, setting the tariff for network usage, separating operator and supplier property) which is necessary to guarantee investors’ interests,” the document said.

The EU’s third energy package, which came into force in EU states on March 3, orders the separation of gas sales and transportation businesses and requires the provision of access for third parties to gas transportation facilities.

Gazprom, which supplies Europe with a quarter of its gas, strongly opposes the package, saying it will divert investment away from gas transportation systems.

Last April Gazprom signed an agreement with Austria under which Vienna may exempt its South Stream stretch from EU energy legislation.

LJUBLJANA, March 22 (RIA Novosti)

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