Poland has strong US support in a dispute with Germany about the shape of European energy policy and the domination of Russia on the European energy market. USA pays over 70 percent for joint defense of all NATO member states, writes Teresa Wójcik, editor of BiznesAlert.pl.
Even though the NATO Parliamentary Assembly is not a decision-making structure, it is a structure for exchanging views on key issues of the Atlantic Alliance. This exchange of views was made at the end of the four-day session of the Assembly in Warsaw, which ended on Monday. The output of this session is all the more important for Poland, as the host country of the session has the privilege of presenting views and conclusions broader than other participants of the assessment. Poland benefited from this privilege, which may be important from the point of view of protecting the security of the Central and Eastern European region. Including energy security protection.
Nord Stream 2 is a hybrid weapon of Russia
A comprehensive analysis of the state of this security and its threats along with the conclusions was provided on the second day of the session by two speeches at the meeting of the Economic and Security Committee of the Union. Dr Anders Aslund, a senior expert of the Atlantic Council, discussed Russia’s energy policy towards Central and Eastern Europe. Emphasizing that currently the majority of these states are the eastern flank of NATO and are particularly threatened by this policy. An MP from Lithuania Ausrine Armonaite presented a draft report of the Sub-Committee on Transformation and Development devoted to the challenges of energy security in Central and Eastern Europe. It is clear from both speeches that Europe, if it is to be safe, can not become dependent on Russian gas supplies. Moscow’s gas policy serves primarily geopolitical, not economic objectives, argued the Lithuanian politician. In the first place, it aims to addiction of the countries that were part of the former Soviet bloc. It also goes to the fundamental principle of European solidarity. Finally, the security and legitimate interests of Ukraine are at stake, which NATO supports not only politically, but also economically.
These issues have been exposed by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki who, referring to the statement of the President of Ukraine Petr Poroshenko, described the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline as “a new hybrid weapon against the European Union that poses a threat to European security and solidarity.” Nord Stream 2 is “a poison pill for European security” – the Polish prime minister warned. It must be remembered that the hybrid weapon has the form of destabilizing actions on the area selected by the aggressor. Conducted not necessarily with the use of military force.
American rating consistent with Polish
The AP agency in the evening relation with Warsaw particularly points out that Poland is by no means alone in this assessment. The agency emphasizes that its position towards the new Russian project is shared by the United States and several EU Member States. Fox News reports on the occasion of President Trump’s warning that the purpose of this Russian investment is to gain new influence also on the countries of Western Europe.
In the debate of the NATO Plenary session, it was emphasized that the question of energy security and diversification of energy sources is of strategic importance for the Atlantic Alliance. However, the final solution to this problem remains to be agreed between the Member States. NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg noted that – as it happened before – there are differences within the Alliance.
NATO can not do much?
One of these concerns Nord Stream 2. Germany is a strong supporter of this investment, arguing that it is of economic importance only. A similar position is taken by several other NATO member states. This practically hinders the Alliance’s intervention on the project, as its decisions are accepted as agreements. So there are no tools to ban the implementation of the Russian project. At the same time, however, Stoltenberg pointed out that the question of energy security and diversification of energy sources is of strategic importance for the Alliance.
Although Germany argues that the reason why the United States is against Nord Stream 2 is that it is considering its own LNG exports. But business interest is just an addition, Americans are motivating strategic thinking in terms of security. There is a good chance that with the support of the USA in the area of the entire Three Seas, diversified energy infrastructure will be developed. Without a Russian dictate. And perhaps – the US sanctions will be the most effective, not only for Gazprom, but also for German companies cooperating with it. And the NATO will take care of the rest.