Minister-President of the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, located in the country's north-east, Manuela Schwesig has slammed statements by European People's Party leader Manfred Weber, a German-born candidate for the presidency of the European Commission, who has vowed to stop the Nord Stream 2 pipeline at any cost.
In her interview with the German channel ZDF, Schwesig called on Weber to stop "playing with the country's future" as he tries to appeal to a wider audience in states outside Germany "at the cost of [his homeland's] interests".
"I find it very strange that he decided to let Germany know that he opposes the project, which we have been supporting for many years, via some Polish newspaper", she said.
Schwesig further pointed out that Germany had vowed to stop using all forms of non-renewable fuel, such as nuclear energy and coal, by 2038. She added that Germany therefore needs a temporary solution, namely natural gas, until the country manages to meet all of its energy needs with renewable sources.
Webber, who is one of the main candidates for the post of president of the European Commission, promised to spare no effort if he is elected to block the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. He claims that the pipeline project is "not in the interests of the EU", because it will increase the bloc's dependence on Russia.
Germany has been facing pressure over its support for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. The US in particular has slammed Berlin, along with the EU in general, over its support for the project, threatening to impose sanctions on all parties related to or working on it. Later, France and several other states tried to pass amendments to the EU's energy legislation that would make finishing the pipeline a next to impossible task. Berlin, however, managed to defend its position and assumed a decisive role in determining the pipeline's fate.
Nord Stream 2 is a joint venture between Russia's Gazprom, Germany's Uniper and Wintershall, France's Engie, Austria's OMV, and Anglo-Dutch Royal Dutch Shell, which envisions the construction of a gas pipeline along the bottom of the Baltic Sea, connecting north-western Russia and north-eastern Germany. The pipeline is expected to deliver 55 billion cubic metres (1.9 trillion cubic feet) of Russian natural gas annually to the European Union once it's completed later in 2019.