Nord Stream 2 breaks European solidarity, says Polish PM
The Polish prime minister has warned that the Nord Stream 2 Russian-German pipeline is breaking European solidarity.
In a sharp attack on the controversial pipeline project that will take billions of cubic metres of Russian gas to Germany, bypassing Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki also said he hoped the project would never be completed.
The construction of Nord Stream 2 has drawn criticism from the EU's eastern members, the European Parliament and the United States owing to fears it will increase Russian influence over both the Baltic region and European energy supplies.
"I spoke about the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to once again show that this is a bad project... which has been breaking European solidarity," Mateusz Morawiecki said after the end of a European Council meeting in Brussels on Tuesday. "At the same time it also makes it possible for Russia to build its strength, which it uses against us, against the European Union.
"I still hope that the US position will help leave the Nord Stream 2 project unfinished," Morawiecki continued.
"This is important since it could be a tool for blackmail," he warned. "We do not want to be blackmailed, especially we do not want Russia to have such an instrument it can use against Ukraine, Belarus, and other countries in the future."
Critics of Nord Stream 2 have argued that the project could increase Europe's dependence on Russian gas and increase the Kremlin's influence on European politics, despite the project being supported by Germany, Austria and several other EU countries.
According to the Russian company Gazprom, the main investor in Nord Stream 2, the pipeline is already 94 percent completed. It consists of two lines, each of which is approximately 1,230 kilometres long. If completed, it will be able to transport 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Russia to Germany annually.