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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Nord Stream 2: Germany giving Putin tool to influence Europe, Polish deputy FM warns

23.02.2021 16:00
By making Europe dependent on Russian gas, Germany is giving Vladimir Putin a tool to influence the region, a Polish deputy foreign minister has warned.
Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Marcin Przydacz.
Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Marcin Przydacz.Photo: Marcin Dławichowski/IAR

Marcin Przydacz said in a media interview that the disputed Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia to Germany would have a negative impact on energy security across the EU.

“By making Europe dependent on Russian gas, Germany is giving Vladimir Putin a tool with which he will be able to influence events—exactly what happened in Ukraine and Belarus,” Przydacz warned in an interview with the energetyka24.com website.

He told the website that the overriding goal of Poland's activities in the international arena was to enhance its own security and that of its citizens "in a stable international environment."

He added that the country was also working to improve the security of the European Union of which it is a member.

His warning came after the Polish and Ukrainian foreign ministers jointly called on US President Joe Biden to use all means at his disposal to stop Russia’s controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project.

In an opinion piece published by the Politico news service, Poland’s Zbigniew Rau and Ukraine’s Dmytro Kuleba said that the Nord Stream 2 project threatened to “violate Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” while “showing blatant disregard for international law.”

“Poland and Ukraine have long warned against the dangers associated with the construction of Nord Stream 2,” the two top diplomats said in their piece.

“Our calls for vigilance and boldness were heard in the U.S. Congress, which pressed on with measures designed to stop this dangerous, divisive project,” they added.

“We call on U.S. President Joe Bid to prevent the project from completion,” they wrote. 

Stopping the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project from Russia to Germany is “a matter of life and death” for Ukraine, the CEO of the country’s state-owned oil and gas company Naftogaz, Andriy Kobolyev, said this month.

Poland has strongly criticised the gas link amid concerns that the pipeline will make the European Union more dependent on Russian gas.

A White House spokeswoman said last week that Biden considers Nord Stream 2 a “bad deal” which divides Europe, and will decide whether sanctions are needed on the project.

The United States last month moved to slap sanctions on a Russian vessel helping build Nord Stream 2, Polish website energetyka24.com reported.

The website also reported last month that German construction and engineering firm Bilfinger had withdrawn from work to build the link amid the threat of new US sanctions.

A senior German lawmaker has proposed introducing a moratorium on the construction of the controversial pipeline from Russia under the Baltic Sea, according to a report earlier this month.

Nord Stream 2, designed to double the capacity of the existing Nord Stream undersea gas pipeline, is expected to send around 55 billion cubic metres of Russian natural gas a year directly to Germany under the Baltic Sea while bypassing the Baltic states, Poland and Ukraine.

Poland’s minister for European affairs, Konrad Szymański, warned in an opinion piece last year that Nord Stream 2, if completed, would make Europe economically dependent on Russia.

In September, then-US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that America was working to build a coalition of countries to stop the gas link from being completed.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said last year that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline would allow 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.

(gs/pk)

Source: energetyka24, IAR, PAP, politico.eu