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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Nord Stream 2 ‘could be used to blackmail Europe,' Polish deputy FM warns

18.09.2020 15:30
A Polish deputy foreign minister has said that the contested Russian-German project to build the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea "contradicts fundamental European values" and could in the future be used to "blackmail Europe."
Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Marcin Przydacz.
Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Marcin Przydacz.Photo: Marcin Dławichowski/IAR

In an interview with the Berliner Zeitung newspaper, Marcin Przydacz said that Nord Stream 2 “is a political project that aids the Russian agenda,” the dw.com website reported.

He added: “The Russian economy is based on exporting hydrocarbons, oil and gas. The money that the German taxpayer pays for Russian gas goes directly to Moscow, where it is used for political purposes. We should not allow this to happen.”

He warned that "Nord Stream 2 could be used to blackmail Europe," adding that Russia “has already blackmailed Belarus and Ukraine over gas supplies,” according to the dw.com website.

Przydacz also told the German paper that Russia has been exhibiting ”aggressive behavior” for several years now, “especially in Eastern Europe.”

He referred to what he said were “many unresolved conflicts in which Russia has played an active role,” including “the occupation of Crimea, the occupation of Donbass and parts of eastern Ukraine” as well as “Russian interventions in Georgia and elsewhere."

Przydacz's comments came after Poland’s minister for European affairs, Konrad Szymański, warned that Nord Stream 2, if completed, would make Europe dependent on Russia.

“For anyone in the West who believed in the possibility of normal relations with Moscow, the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny last month should have been a rude awakening,” Szymański said in an opinion piece published by the Politico news service this week.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki this month suggested Russia was a "hostile regime" after Germany’s Angela Merkel said that Navalny had been poisoned with a Soviet-era Novichok nerve agent in an attempt to kill him.

Morawiecki said last month that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline allows Russia to buy weapons with European money.

He has previously called Nord Stream 2 “a new hybrid weapon” aimed at the European Union and NATO.

The 1,200-kilometre undersea Nord Stream 2 pipeline is designed 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.

Warsaw has vehemently opposed the project, saying it would pose a threat to Europe’s energy security by doubling Russia’s gas export capacity via the Baltic Sea.

Poland’s Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau said this month he was optimistic about the chances of halting the construction of the controversial pipeline.

(gs/pk)

Source: dw.comberliner-zeitung.de