Polish PM warns Nord Stream 2 could undermine security
PR dla Zagranicy
Poland's prime minister has praised European Union efforts to transform its energy sector but has warned that a planned new pipeline from Russia could undermine Central European stability.
Mateusz Morawiecki addresses European Parliament. Photo: EPA/MARC DOSSMANN
Speaking in the European Parliament on Wednesday Mateusz Morawiecki said: “The European Union’s chosen road to a low-emissions economy, and maybe one day even a zero-emissions economy, is certainly the right road”.
The prime minister said that Poland is willing and ready to engage in the bloc’s efforts to reform the energy sector.
But he said the playing field was uneven because countries had different starting points and urged for member states to be provided tools to help them tackle their specific challenges.
Morawiecki noted that Poland’s was burdened by the communist legacy of heavy industry and coal energy.
He said that, since the fall of communism in 1989, Poland had “undertaken huge efforts to reduce, in accordance with the Kyoto protocol, carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent, despite promising to reduce by only up to 5 percent”.
He added that Poland’s recent efforts to improve air quality included a hard stance taken on smog in 2018.
But he noted that shifting from coal to natural gas was particularly challenging for Poland because the latter could only be sourced from Russia, “so all efforts to increase our use of gas would have destabilized our security,” Morawiecki said.
He warned that Poland’s efforts to become greener “can be rendered pointless by Nord Stream 2”, the planned pipeline to connect Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea, bypassing Poland, Ukraine and the Baltic States.
Morawiecki also called Russian gas monopoly Gazprom’s Nord Stream 2 “not an economic project, but a political project”.
“The European Union does not need Nord Stream 2, which increases the risk of Central Europe being destabilised and which gives Russia very strong tools of influence, not only over the European economy, but also on European policy,” Morawiecki said. (vb)
Source: Gazeta Polska