FM warns Nord Stream 2 a tool for Russia

Albert Zawada/PAP

Poland's foreign minister has said the Nord Stream 2 Russia-Germany gas pipeline project is a tool to "export Russian business culture" and that Poland understands Russia better than its western partners.

In an interview published in Wednesday's Gazeta Polska newspaper, Zbigniew Rau said he always sought to draw attention to the fact that "Nord Stream 2 does not only export gas, but it also exports Russian business culture. This can be seen in the business relations with influential people of the German political elite, it is similar in Austria and to a lesser extent in France. But a lot of dependency can be seen here."

Asked whether the last half-year had shown Poland's position to have been the most accurate diagnosis of Russian behaviour, Rau replied: "We in Poland know and understand Russia better than our partners, allies and friends in the West."

He added that "even in the historical perspective, it is hard for us here in Poland to ever have been wrong about Russia."

On the subject of whether Russia would attack Ukraine, Rau said that a responsible policy would be preparedness for any situation. "I would say: in Nato there are those who envision the consequences that will face Russia after any attack on Ukraine," Rau told the paper. "Sanctions and similar instruments. There are also those who hold the position that not only should consequences be known about in advance, but that it is also good to prevent them. For example by strengthening Nato's eastern flank, giving support to Ukraine in various ways."