US ‘can’t ensure defence’ of allies dependent on Russia: Pence
PR dla Zagranicy
US Vice President Mike Pence has warned that America “cannot ensure the defence of the West” if its allies grow dependent on Moscow as a result of projects such as Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany.
US Vice President Mike Pence (left), pictured with US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
The 1,200-kilometre Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which is scheduled for completion in 2019, is expected to 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.
Poland and the United States have both strongly criticised the project.
Pence criticised Germany at NATO's 70th anniversary gathering in Washington on Wednesday.
"Germany must do more. And we cannot ensure the defence of the West if our allies grow dependent on Russia," Pence said, as cited by several media outlets.
He added: "If Germany persists in building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, as President [Donald] Trump said, it could turn Germany's economy into literally a captive of Russia.”
The Wall Street Journal reported last month that Washington was preparing to impose sanctions on EU firms that help finance Nord Stream 2.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said last May that Nord Stream 2 was “a new hybrid weapon” aimed at the European Union and NATO.
Polish President Andrzej Duda said in October that the construction of the pipeline despite a lack of approval from all EU members showed a lack of solidarity within the bloc.
The European Parliament on Thursday approved an amendment to a gas directive that is expected to give the European Commission a bigger say in regulations governing the Nord Stream 2 link, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.