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English Section

Polish PM ‘very disappointed’ at lack of US sanctions on Nord Stream 2 firm

10.06.2021 13:30
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has told US magazine Newsweek he is “very disappointed” that President Joe Biden has refused to implement sanctions on the company building the contested Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia to Germany.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka

“We are very disappointed, in Poland, about the recent change of the position of the United States in particular because, over the last couple of years, we have worked hand-in-hand with the US administration to stop or to slow down the development of Nord Stream 2,” Morawiecki was quoted as saying by Newsweek.

“And it was only recently where the American administration changed their view on this with false hopes that this will help to repair the relations between the U.S. and the European Union,” he added in the interview published on Wednesday.

“Well, Germany is not the European Union. Germany is Germany, and they have their own interests and it happened that their interests are quite aligned and on the same page with the Russian interests.”

“But this is not aligned with the transatlantic interests. So Germany is on the collision course with the transatlantic strategy, in that view, regarding its own energy interests,” Morawiecki was quoted as saying.

The Polish government spokesman said last month that the ongoing construction of Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany under the Baltic Sea was part of a wider “geopolitical power play” by these two countries.

Piotr Müller was speaking after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that Biden's administration had waived sanctions on Nord Stream 2 AG, the company behind the contested undersea gas pipeline, and its CEO Matthias Warnig.

A spokesman for Poland’s ruling conservatives, Radosław Fogiel, voiced regret last month about the US administration's decision to waive sanctions on the company.

Republican lawmakers in the United States have slammed the Biden administration's decision, news media have reported.

A US State Department report sent to Congress earlier this month concluded that Nord Stream 2 AG and Warnig, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, engaged in sanctionable activity, but Blinken immediately waived those sanctions, citing US national interests, the Reuters news agency reported.

It noted that the decision came as the Biden administration seeks to rebuild ties with Germany after those were strained under Donald Trump's presidency.

The US State Department has instead slapped sanctions on four Russian ships, including the pipe-laying vessel Akademik Cherskiy, while also imposing measures on five other Russian entities, including the Russian Marine Rescue Service, according to Reuters.

Blinken said in a statement on May 19: "Today's actions demonstrate the administration’s commitment to energy security in Europe, consistent with the President’s pledge to rebuild relationships with our allies and partners in Europe."

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


Source: Newsweek