Lavrov criticizes EU's position on 3rd Energy Package application

The provisions of the 3rd Energy Package violate the EU's commitments not to worsen the conditions of business with Russia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

"Since the moment the 3rd Energy Package was adopted and came into effect - yes, we have said already that we will abide by [these rules] within the framework of the parameters formulated in the 3rd Energy Package and will seek to build our further relations, including on the South Stream, on its basis. But what has already been invested by the old rules cannot be touched," Lavrov told journalists on board a plane following an EU-Russia summit on Saturday.

The foundations of international law do not imply that a law can be applied retroactively, and Russia has an agreement with the EU, which prohibits actions worsening conditions for business, Lavrov said.

"International law has priority over domestic affairs, and its priority is absolutely undeniable. And our partners have failed to answer why they consider their actions aimed at the retroactive application of the 3rd Energy Package complying with the rule of law principle," Lavrov said.

The Russian minister also addressed the status of Russian gas pipelines, pointing out that Nord Stream has already been declared as a priority project for the EU, and granting the same status to South Stream was also discussed at the EU-Russia summit, especially considering that the volume of gas to be pumped through South Stream would be larger than that pumped through Nord Stream.

"Our partners said South Stream is a very important project for them. As concerns its formal qualification as a priority for the EU, such a decision has not yet been made," he said.

Lavrov also commented on the outcomes of the summit.

"We do not make breakthrough decisions at each summit. You cannot break something through every year," he said.

"What counts most is that we have common principles, which implies movement toward the fullest possible use of coinciding approaches, and they are based on WTO principles," Lavrov said.

All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.