We are talking to Rafał Trzaskowski, former Deputy Minister for European Affairs and current Member of the European Parliament, on the controversial Nord Stream 2 project.
BiznesAlert.pl: Is the deal where Poland makes concessions on climate policy in return for energy security in place? Doesn’t Nord Stream 2 prove that in a way we have been tricked?
No serious concessions have been made. This government is not tending to the issue of energy security, especially when it comes to the transparency of contracts. Whereas the German government refused to discuss Nord Stream 2 at the European level, claiming it was purely a business project. Only when the European Commission enforced the negotiations on the mandate, did the issue appear at the EU level. This is very good, in our and the EC’s opinion, the project is against the basic assumptions of the EU energy policy, like diversification of sources. There will be a discussion on this subject. The states that support Nord Stream 2 do not have the blocking minority, so let’s hope the European Commission will enforce the observance of the EU law.
What was the role of Donald Tusk’s letter where he said that Europe had to address Nord Stream 2?
It was very big because within the European Commission itself there were opinions, which said to keep away from Nord Stream 2. The letter had an impact on the EC’s position, where the view that Nord Stream 2 should be treated as any other EU project won. However, we would like the Commission to use its prerogatives even more forcefully.
What significance does the American factor have? While Donald Trump did not mention Nord Stream 2 in Warsaw, he said he would not let the region become a slave to one supplier. Nord Stream 2 will indeed increase Germany’s and other European states’ dependence on Russian gas.
The attitude of the US administration is definitely helpful, especially thanks to the amendments adopted by the Senate, which strengthen the sanctions against those who want to implement the project, which is against the European Union’s energy security. Also President Trump’s declaration puts pressure on those who support Nord Stream 2.
Is this enough to block the project, or delaying it is everything we can expect?
We’ll see. The Law and Justice government says it will be more effective than its predecessor and will block the project. I hope, the pipeline will never see the light of day, but it will be very difficult to achieve.