Russia using gas pipeline as hybrid weapon, PM warns

PM Marteusz Morawiecki speaking at a NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Warsaw PAP/Paweł Supernak

Poland’s Prime Minister has warned that Russia could use its Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline as a “hybrid weapon” against the EU and NATO.

Speaking at a NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Warsaw on Monday, PM Mateusz Morawiecki called the planned pipeline "a poisoned pill of European security" and said that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline posed a threat to Europe's energy security and solidity. 

He told the meeting: "The Nord stream 2 is a new hybrid weapon aimed at the European Union, its member states and NATO and may have far - reaching geopolitical consequences."

The PM’s warning is similar to comments made by Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, who also called the planned gas pipeline a "hybrid weapon". 

Speaking at an EU conference in Brussels, Groysman said: "I categorically deny that it is a commercial project. It is a new hybrid weapon, targeting the EU. We should simply stop it. The Ukrainian gas transit system can ensure 100% of the supply, so there is no need to build new capacities.”

The Nord 2 gas pipeline is planned to transfer gas from Russia to Germany. If the project is completed, Russia will double the amount of gas it sends each year to Germany and other countries, effectively giving it a monopoly on the European gas market and preventing other international companies, mainly from the US, from supplying gas to Europe. The US also expressed opposition to the construction of the new gas pipeline, and Russian President Putin said that President Trump is trying to persuade European countries to replace the Russian gas with more expensive US liquid gas.

During a speech in front of several hundred NATO parliamentarians, Polish President Andrzej Duda warned that after the war with Georgia in 2008 and the annexation of Crimea in 2014, Russia may also target other Eastern European countries.

"With regret it must be said that Moscow has never come to terms with the collapse of the imperial Soviet Union. The invasion of Georgia and the unlawful annexation of Crimea and military intervention in Ukraine illustrate the real intentions of Russia," he said.