The planned Nord Stream 2 subsea gas pipeline from Russia to Germany is “a new hybrid weapon” aimed at the European Union and NATO, Poland’s prime minister said on Monday.
Speaking at a meeting of NATO lawmakers in Warsaw, Mateusz Morawiecki said that the controversial pipeline project, which is opposed by Poland and other countries, may “have far-reaching geopolitical consequences.”
Addressing a NATO Parliamentary Assembly meeting in the Polish capital, he called Nord Stream 2 a “poisoned pill of European security,” Poland’s PAP news agency reported.
Echoing a view voiced by Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, Morawiecki said that Nord Stream 2 “is a new hybrid weapon aimed at the European Union, its member states and NATO,” PAP reported.
Morawiecki told the gathering that “the Nord Stream 2 pipeline poses a threat to Europe’s energy security and solidarity.”
He argued that the existing Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline had enabled Russia to obtain funds that it later used to modernise its army. He referred to Russia’s invasion of Georgia in 2008, annexation of Crimea in 2014 and aggression in eastern Ukraine, PAP reported.
Several hundred parliamentarians from NATO countries gathered in the Polish capital on Monday concluded several days of debate on international security challenges.
The Spring Session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly discussed issues including NATO’s deterrence policy, ways of counteracting hybrid threats from Russia, and challenges related to energy security in Central and Eastern Europe, according to public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency.
Nord Stream 2 threatens Europe’s energy security: experts
Experts gathered at a conference in Washington last week warned that the Russia-Germany gas link, which is already under construction, posed a threat to Europe’s energy security.
Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discussed the contested gas link between Russia and Germany when they met in Washington last Monday, according to reports.
After his visit to the State Department, Czaputowicz said that Poland and the United States had similar views on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
Czaputowicz said he hoped that diplomatic pressure from the United States would cause European companies to withdraw from the controversial project.
The US State Department spokeswoman said in March that the US government opposed Nord Stream 2 as the project would undermine Europe’s energy security and stability.
Kurt Volker, the US special representative for Ukraine, has reportedly said that the United States is considering imposing sanctions on multinational corporations taking part in the construction of Nord Stream 2.
If built, the 1,200-kilometre Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which is scheduled for completion in 2019, will supply around 55 billion cubic metres of natural gas a year from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea, circumventing Poland, the Baltic states and Ukraine.