In an online debate last week organized by the Atlantic Council, a US think tank, Mateusz Morawiecki also said that the contested Nord Stream 2 pipeline allows Russia to buy weapons with European money.
‘This is paying with European money for weapons for Putin’
“In our opinion, this is paying with European money for weapons for Putin,” Morawiecki was quoted as saying by Poland’s niezalezna.pl website during the debate.
Morawiecki has previously called Nord Stream 2 “a new hybrid weapon” aimed at the European Union and NATO.
The controversial 1,200-kilometre pipeline being built under the Baltic Sea is expected to have the capacity to send around 55 billion cubic metres of Russian natural gas a year directly to Germany, while bypassing the Baltic states, Poland and Ukraine.
Poland has vehemently opposed the project, saying it will pose a threat to Europe’s energy security by doubling Russia’s gas export capacity via the Baltic Sea.
Poland’s antitrust authority has announced it has imposed a fine of around EUR 50 million on Russia's gas giant Gazprom for its lack of cooperation in proceedings involving the contested pipeline.
During the Atlantic Council debate, Morawiecki also referred to an announcement by US Defense Secretary Mark Esper last Wednesday that the United States would pull out roughly a third of the 36,000 American forces stationed in Germany.
Nearly 5,600 of the 11,900 troops to be removed from that country will be sent to other NATO allies in Europe, including Poland, he added.
Morawiecki said, as quoted by Poland’s niezalezna.pl website, that NATO was important for the preservation of world peace, adding that he would like steps of this kind to be taken amid a consensus in the Western defence alliance.