Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki is criticized by the Kremlin’s spokesperson for warning against the contested Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. Poland, with the support of the US and some European countries, undertakes the final charge to block the project, writes Wojciech Jakóbik, editor-in-chief of BiznesAlert.pl.
There are no tools on the table at the disposal of Poland to block the Nord Stream 2 project. They are Americans who could potentially use the sanctions to delay the project. According to the declarations of representatives of the local authorities, they may also block this project. After the work on the revision of the gas directive by the European Commission has been frozen by the Austrian presidency (OMV is the financial partner of Nord Stream 2) and the Americans are signaling the lack of will to impose sanctions, the last chance to act on the disputed project will be to discuss it in the security sector.
This should be understood as a warning by Morawiecki from the conference in Hamburg, where he said that after the creation of Nord Stream 2, the Russian side will be able to continue military operations in Ukraine without negative consequences for its gas customers in Western Europe, who will receive gas along the maritime route regardless of the development of accidents on the Dnieper. – What will stop Vladimir Putin from marching into Kiev? – the prime minister asked rhetorically.
– The insinuations of this type that you have mentioned are certainly part of the attempts to politicize the project (…). We hear direct threats against this venture from the United States of America. This is nothing but a manifestation of unfair competition and an attempt to force Europeans to buy unfavorable, more expensive American gas – said the spokesman of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov. The Kremlin’s nervous comments may stem from the fact that Polish PGNiG has concluded a contract for LNG supplies from the USA, which according to the company’s declarations will be competitive with the offer in Europe and will constitute an attractive alternative to supplies from Russia.
According to BiznesAlert.pl, the Polish government is continuing its efforts to convince NATO allies that Nord Stream 2 is a threat to security. The first activities in this area were taken at the NATO summit in Warsaw. It turns out that this argument goes to the USA, the Scandinavian countries and an increasing part of the North Atlantic Alliance states. The problem is that Germany belonging to NATO defends the project as a pure business venture and refuses to discuss it in the Alliance.
A chance for breaking the deadlock may be a new US policy, which is antagonized with Germany, also in the assessment of security policy in Europe. This is another area in which Nord Stream 2 strengthens the divisions. Americans and Poles can take unknown actions on this project for the time being, which may harm them, but at the same time they will strike a common transatlantic policy. Enhanced cooperation between Poland and the USA may bring unexpected problems to the Nord Stream 2 project, which in the assumptions of its architects was carried out smoothly so as to start work at the end of 2019. Will the last charge on Nord Stream 2 jeopardize this project?