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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

German lawmaker proposes moratorium on Nord Stream 2

08.02.2021 14:16
A senior German lawmaker has proposed introducing a moratorium on the construction of the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia under the Baltic Sea, a Polish website has reported.
Norbert Rttgen.
Norbert Röttgen.Photo: EPA/CHRISTIAN MARQUARDT

The head of the foreign affairs committee of the German lower house, Norbert Röttgen, said the project could be put on hold until Brussels, Moscow and Washington work out solutions to prevent the disputed gas link from being used "as a geopolitical weapon against Eastern European countries,” the energetyka24.com website reported.

It quoted Röttgen as saying in a radio interview that the German government “should recognize the fact” that Nord Stream 2 is a divisive project with a negative impact on transatlantic relations.

The pipeline is opposed by a number of countries in Europe, including Poland and the Baltic states, Röttgen argued, according to the Polish website.

Energetyka24.com reported last month that German construction and engineering firm Bilfinger had withdrawn from work to build Nord Stream 2 amid the threat of new US sanctions.

The United States last month moved to slap sanctions on a Russian vessel helping build the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, according to energetyka24.com.

The Russian pipe-laying ship Fortuna arrives in the German port of Wismar earlier this month. The Russian pipe-laying ship Fortuna arrives in the German port of Wismar last month. Photo: PAP/Jens Büttner/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa

'New hybrid weapon'

Nord Stream 2, designed to double the capacity of the existing Nord Stream undersea gas pipeline, is expected to send around 55 billion cubic meters 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 in September last year that Nord Stream 2, if completed, would make Europe economically dependent on Russia.

The United States in December urged European allies and private firms to halt work that could help build Nord Stream 2 as it readied new sanctions on the project, according to a report.

Then-US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a media interview in September 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.

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.com