20:08 GMT20 June 2021
Listen Live
    Business
    Get short URL
    by
    34756
    Subscribe

    Last week, European Commission spokesman Peter Stano argued that Washington's recent move not to sanction the operator of the Russian-led gas project Nord Stream 2 points to America's desire to improve relations with the European Union.

    Krzysztof Szczerski, the head of the Polish presidential office's international policy bureau, has stated that the White House waiving sanctions against the operator of Nord Stream 2 is "based on an erroneous assessment of reality".

    Speaking to the news network Polskie Radio, Szczerski described the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project as "a gas bomb placed under European integration".

    Piping systems and shut-off valves are pictured at the gas receiving station of the Nord Stream Baltic Sea pipeline, in Lubmin, Germany
    © Sputnik / Dmitrij Leltschuk
    Piping systems and shut-off valves are pictured at the gas receiving station of the Nord Stream Baltic Sea pipeline, in Lubmin, Germany
    "Indeed, this project will or can blow up the European Union", he asserted, expressing concern over the completion of Nord Stream 2, which he said would enable Europe to receive more gas from Russia.

    The Polish presidential aide claimed that the joint operation of Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 will result in "Germany's dependence on Russian [gas] supplies, which will mean Moscow's political influence on the EU's foreign policy and economy".

    "Each gas pipeline has its own valve, which means that it can be closed on the Russian side. So, from the moment of the project's completion, Western Europe or the EU will have to take into account that they may lose access to the Russian gas when they deal with decision-making", Szczerski added.

    The remarks followed the aide telling Polskie Radio last week that the White House's recent decision not to slap sanctions on the operator of Nord Stream 2 was "not entirely consistent".

    US Scraps Sanctions Against Nord Stream 2 Operator

    He spoke after the Biden administration announced that it would lift sanctions on Swiss-based Nord Stream 2 AG, the Russian-led project's operator, and its chief executive Matthias Warnig, explaining the move was in Washington's national interests.

    Pipe-laying vessel Fortuna leaves the port of Wismar to work on Nord Stream 2 construction
    © Sputnik / Dmitry Lelchuk
    Pipe-laying vessel Fortuna leaves the port of Wismar to work on Nord Stream 2 construction

    The White House press pool cited President Joe Biden as saying that US sanctions against Nord Stream 2 AG would be counterproductive for European relations. Shortly after, however, the US administration imposed sanctions against 13 Russian vessels and three entities linked to the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

    The Russian-led gas project, which is currently over 90-percent complete, aims to lay a 745-mile twin pipeline to transport gas from Russia directly to Germany via the Baltic Sea, passing through the territorial waters of Denmark, Finland, and Sweden.

    Washington is a vocal opponent of the project, as well as Berlin's alleged dependence on Russian natural resources, as it seeks to export more US liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe. In 2019, the White House introduced sanctions on Nord Stream 2, forcing Swiss company Allseas to abandon it. After a year-long hiatus, construction was resumed by the Russian pipe-laying vessel Fortuna in late 2020.

    Russia views the US sanctions against Nord Stream 2 as an example of unfair competition meant to boost US LNG exports, calling the pipeline a purely economic project that should not be politicised.

    Related:

    Berlin's Stance on Nord Stream 2 Unchanged Despite US Sanctions, Gov't Spokesperson Says
    German Chancellor Merkel Rejects US Sanctions Against Nord Stream 2 as ‘Inappropriate’
    Germany's Position Unaffected by Ideas to Add Nord Stream 2 to Russia Sanctions Agenda
    Tags:
    construction, sanctions, Nord Stream 2, EU, Germany, Poland, Russia
    Community standardsDiscussion