Germany loses Gazprom pipeline appeal


By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS, July 15 (Reuters) - Germany on Thursday lost its fight in Europe's top court against a ruling limiting Gazprom's GAZP.MM access to the OPAL pipeline that links the Russian gas producer's Nord Stream pipeline to the country.

The case is part of a long-running dispute over the transportation of Russian gas to Europe, which has pitted Poland and other eastern European countries against Germany, the main beneficiary of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

Nord Stream 2, a pipeline expansion that would double Russian gas exports across the Baltic Sea, is controversial because it bypasses legacy gas routes via Poland and Ukraine. The United States says the project undermines the security of Ukraine.

Germany appealed to the Luxembourg-based EU Court of Justice (CJEU) after a lower tribunal in 2019 annulled an EU decision allowing Gazprom to boost deliveries to Europe via the OPAL pipeline. The tribunal ruling followed a Polish challenge to the European Commission's decision.

The CJEU rejected Germany's arguments that "energy solidarity" is a political concept rather than a legal issue.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee Editing by Jason Neely and David Goodman)

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