Russia lost most of its claims against EU energy policy measures at the World Trade Organisation Friday, over alleged incompatibility of the EU’s third energy package with the multilateral trade rules.
In its finding, the WTO panel found no basis to the claim by the Russian Federation concerning the alleged EU discrimination in its “Third Energy Package” against Russian pipeline transport services, service suppliers, or against Russian natural gas.
The Third Energy Package consists of EU legislation for integrating the internal energy market. It includes rules on, in particular, the separation of energy supply and generation from the operation of transmission networks (unbundling), non-discriminatory access to energy infrastructure and independence of national energy regulators.
The EU Commission believes an integrated and competitive EU energy market is the most cost-effective way to ensure secure and affordable supplies to EU citizens and business with a choice of energy supplier.
The panel ruled in favour of the EU concerning its rules on “unbundling”, i.e. the requirement to separate energy supply and generation from the operation of transmission networks, as well as on liquefied natural gas (LNG) and on upstream pipeline networks.
This is seen by the Commission as an important and positive outcome for the EU, as it secures core elements of its Third Energy Package.
In a statement, the Commission says it will now analyse the ruling in detail, in particular as regards a limited number of issues on which the WTO-compatibility of EU energy policy has still not been recognised.