The Securing Europe's Energy Future: A Transatlantic View conference was attended by a host of Polish and US officials, including US Republican Senator Ron Johnson, Polish Eurodeputy Zdzisław Krasnodębski, who is vice-president of the European Parliament, and Piotr Naimski, the Polish government pointman’s on strategic energy infrastructure, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.
Those taking part in the gathering, which was held by the Polish embassy together with the Atlantic Council think-tank on Wednesday, voiced critical views of the Russia-Germany gas link now under construction, IAR said.
IAR quoted Johnson, who chairs the US Senate Subcommittee on European and Regional Security Cooperation, as saying that Moscow has taken a long list of destabilising steps in recent years. He specifically named Russia’s actions in Syria, the annexation of Crimea, the conflict in Ukraine and interference in election campaigns abroad, IAR said.
Dependence on Russian gas
Poland’s Naimski said that the United States and Poland shared a critical assessment of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline because they both believed that Eastern European countries should shake off their dependence on Russian gas.
"In particular, it is necessary to prevent this dependence from solidifying in the coming decades,” Naimski said, as quoted by IAR.
He added: “This is why the United States, like us, is opposed to the construction of this German-Russian gas pipeline.”
Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discussed the contested gas link between Russia and Germany when they met in Washington on Monday, according to reports.
After his visit to the State Department, Czaputowicz said that Poland and the United States had similar views on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
Czaputowicz said he hoped that diplomatic pressure from the United States would cause European companies to withdraw from the controversial project.
The US State Department spokeswoman said in March that the US government opposed Nord Stream 2 as the project would undermine Europe’s energy security and stability.
Kurt Volker, the US special representative for Ukraine, has reportedly said that the United States is considering imposing sanctions on multinational corporations taking part in the construction of Nord Stream 2.
If built, the 1,200-kilometre Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which is scheduled for completion in 2019, will supply around 55 billion cubic metres of natural gas a year from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea, circumventing Poland, the Baltic states and Ukraine.
Source: Polish Radio/IAR