22/09/2021 Wednesday

US decision on Nord Stream 2 raises 'great doubts' - president

SPENCER PLATT/POOL/PAP/EPA

The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline should be a reason for reflection on Poland's relations with the US, said the president in New York on Tuesday.

"If we are talking about the need for some kind of reflection on relations with the United States, then I believe that Nord Stream 2 should be grounds for this. It directly concerns American consent for the completion of this investment," Andrzej Duda said at a press conference while attending the 76th session of the UN General Assembly.

Nord Stream 2 (NS2) is the controversial Russia-Germany gas pipeline which bypasses Ukraine and endangers, according to its critics, energy security in Eastern Europe. When ready, it will forward 55 billion cubic metres of Russian gas annually to Germany. Poland, Ukraine, the Baltic states and the US have protested against its construction, arguing that it will increase the EU countries' dependence on Russian gas.

In July, the administration of US President Joe Biden and the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced, in a joint statement, that an agreement had been reached to end the dispute over the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. As part of the agreement, the US will withhold sanctions on NS2 and Germany will invest in Ukrainian projects and commit to imposing sanctions in the event of hostile action on the part of Russia.

"I know that the United States, representatives of the administration, were aware of the arguments which showed the harmfulness of this to a United Europe. They were aware of the arguments showing the harmfulness of this, primarily for our part of Europe, to Ukraine, Poland, Slovakia as well as all the dangers associated with it. Still, they agreed to this," said Duda.

"It is certainly a decision that raises great doubts in our country and I must admit, also huge regret," noted out the president.

When asked about what could be done to minimise the negative effects of the pipeline, he replied: "However, how it will be used and what amounts of gas will be transported through it, these are indeed decisions that will be taken inside the European Union."

The president also pointed out that that Poland would do its utmost "to preserve the security of Poland, Ukraine, Slovakia and other countries."