Novak: EU Court’s Decision on OPAL Pipeline Will Impact Ukraine Talks

The decision by Europe’s top court to ban Gazprom from fully accessing the OPAL pipeline will affect next week’s gas talks with the European Union and Ukraine, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Thursday. 

OPAL, along the border of Germany and Poland, is a link to the Russian gas giant’s Nord Stream pipeline, crucial for exports to Europe. 

“I think that, in terms of negotiations, this situation will be taken into account,” Novak said in an interview with Russia’s state-run Rossiya 24 TV channel.

He also said that he sees “no tragedy” in the current volatility of global oil markets.

“I don’t see the tragedy in the small volatility that is on the market today. If you look at price fluctuations in recent months, they were in the range of 58-62 dollars per barrel of oil. Today’s two-dollar decline is not the level to consider there’s a crisis,” Novak stated.

The Russian energy minister said that OPEC and non-OPEC countries have not yet discussed the possibility of a further extension of their output cut deal. 

“It has not been discussed yet … It’s premature, the situation on the market may change,” he said.