Warsaw to pressure Washington over contested pipeline

Poland will exert pressure on the US to change its decision on lifting some sanctions on companies involved in the construction of the controversial Russia-Germany Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, a deputy minister has said.

Last week the US Department of State told the US Congress that it had changed its policy and lifted sanctions imposed on the Nord Stream 2 AG company that is constructing the second stretch of the pipeline across the Baltic Sea.

US President Joe Biden upheld this position on Tuesday.

Nord Stream 2, the controversial Russia-Germany gas pipeline, which bypasses Ukraine and Poland, endangers, according to its critics, energy security in Eastern Europe and will increase the Kremlin's influence on European energy supplies and politics.

Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Pawel Jablonski told the right-wing private TV broadcaster Telewizja Republika on Wednesday that the decision was bad.

"We have a clear negative view about it and we will continue to exert pressure to change the decision, to reverse it," Jablonski said.

"We can do it effectively if we speak in one voice both in domestic policy and as an alliance of countries in our part of the region that realise the danger the construction of this pipeline involves," he continued.

Jablonski also said that "contrary to appearances, it is still possible to delay or stop the project altogether.”

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.