US President Donald Trump and his Polish counterpart, Andrzej Duda, have called the Russian gas pipeline to Germany a “threat” to European energy security.
According to a White House statement, the two leaders discussed the possibility of hindering the implementation of the Nord Stream 2 project, which aims to deliver more natural gas from Russia to the EU.
Earlier this month, Poland’s state-owned energy company PGNiG said it won’t extend the contract for gas supplies with Russian Gazprom after 2022. According to PGNiG head Peter Wozniak, Russian gas is overpriced. Under the agreement with Gazprom, Warsaw can annually receive 10.2 billion cubic meters of gas, which is delivered via the Yamal gas pipeline through Belarus.
Poland already has a 20-year deal to buy LNG from the US in a bid to give up Russian gas entirely, despite the fact that American gas is more expensive and is not as reliable in meeting Poland’s needs. Warsaw has also inked a number of contracts with American companies to replace Russian supplies. That should make Poland the future center for the re-export of American LNG in the region, said the US ambassador to Poland, Georgette Mosbacher.
Poland has become an “American puppet and does not have its own policy, fully repeating the words of its elder brother,” according to Vladimir Dzhabarov, the Russian first deputy head of the Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs. He told RT that the US and Poland don’t have the ability to impede the implementation of Nord Stream 2, adding that the pipeline is necessary to meet the energy needs of Europe.
“They will not be able to hinder the project, but they will try to slow down the construction. But I think that Western Europe will not accept this, particularly Germany, which is interested in Russian gas,” Dzhabarov said.
An expert at the International Institute for Humanitarian and Political Research, Vladimir Bruter, echoed Dzhabarov, saying Poland has become a country that plays along with Washington and is interested in dividing Europe.
“All these are elements of the American strategy, where Poland stands out as the main ‘deterrent’. It is expected to become a barrier to Russia and a provocateur to Germany. If Berlin does not defend its own interests, then it will fall into American foreign policy traps,” Bruter told RT.
Washington is one of the most vocal critics of the Russian pipeline project. Trump has previously slammed the pipeline as a “tremendous mistake.”
Last week, Gazprom said that the Nord Stream 2 project, which is planned to be finished by year’s end, is 81 percent complete.
The project involves the construction of two pipelines with a total capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year, to extend from the Russian coast to Germany – and further on to other European customers – through the Baltic Sea. Berlin has insisted that the project will help the country meet its growing demand for energy as it phases out coal and nuclear power.
The pipeline route has so far been laid through the territorial waters and the exclusive economic zones of Russia, Finland, Sweden, and Germany. Only one remaining stretch of the pipeline, to be laid through Danish territorial waters, is pending official authorization.
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