European Commission explains its recommendation to freeze the South Stream pipeline project with Russia’s actions in the World Trade Organization (WTO). According to the EC Commissioner for energy’s spokeswoman Sabine Berger, it is important to estimate whether the project complies with the EU energy security policy.

Russia’s lawsuit against the EU Third Energy Package disrupted the work of the bilateral intergovernmental group examining compliance of bilateral agreements between Russia and eight EU countries on the South Stream construction with the EU norms, Berger said.

The task group was set up at the year-start and has technically met twice since then.

Using the Third Energy Package, Brussels demands that Russia provides wider access to the future pipeline for the non-participating European companies. The intergovernmental agreements among South Stream participants had been signed before the package took force, so that the norm became retroactive with a simple EC decision, contrary to any sound law principles.