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Nord Stream 2 critic Richard Grenell may take over as US envoy to Poland: report

29.10.2020 15:00
Republican diplomat Richard Grenell, a critic of the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in Europe, may take over as US President Donald Trump's next ambassador to Warsaw, according to a report.
Richard Grenell.
Richard Grenell.Photo: PAP/DPA/Sven Hoppe

Grenell, a former US envoy to Berlin and an outspoken critic of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline being built from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea, may replace Georgette Mosbacher as ambassador to Warsaw if Donald Trump is re-elected next month, a Polish newspaper has speculated.

The Dziennik Gazeta Prawna daily said that Grenell, who served more than 10 years in the US Department of State and worked briefly as acting director of national intelligence, is an experienced diplomat and an influential White House adviser as well as a prominent gay rights activist.

Polish website energetyka24.com reported that Grenell in May 2018 provoked irritation in Berlin on the day he took office as US envoy to Germany by saying on Twitter that "German companies doing business in Iran should wind down operations immediately."

About a month later, Grenell told the Breitbart news website that he wanted to "empower conservatives throughout Europe," which many in Germany interpreted as “an attack on the establishment,” energetyka24.com reported.

"I think there is a groundswell of conservative policies that are taking hold because of the failed policies of the left," he was quoted as saying at the time.

In a recent opinion piece posted on the thehill.com website, Grenell said that Poland’s inclusion last year in America’s Visa Waiver Program (VWP) reflected “its rising geopolitical power in Europe.”

“As Germany prevaricates between NATO and Russia, and as France attempts a fully-fledged entente with Moscow, Poland has emerged as America’s strongest ally within the EU and NATO regarding the Russian threat,” Grenell argued.

The speculation about his possible posting to Warsaw comes after the  United States this month broadened its sanctions against the disputed Nord Stream 2 pipeline opposed by Poland.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a media interview last month that the United States was working to build a coalition of countries to stop the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from being completed in Europe.

Speaking out on the pipeline last year, US President Donald Trump said: “We’re protecting Germany from Russia and Russia is getting billions and billions of dollars from Germany.”

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said in August that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline allows Russia to buy weapons with European money.

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

The gas link is close to completion and is due to start operating next year. 

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.

(gs/pk)

Source: energetyka24.comgazetaprawna.plthehill.com