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German MEP warns over Russian gas link: report

PR dla Zagranicy
Grzegorz Siwicki 26.04.2019 16:00
An influential German MEP has claimed that Russia will not keep its promise to continue sending gas through Ukraine after the contested Nord Stream 2 pipeline is completed, according to a report.
Elmar BrokElmar BrokOlaf Kosinsky [CC BY-SA 3.0 de (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/de/deed.en)]

The lawmaker, Elmar Brok, was on Friday quoted as saying by a Polish website that the Russians will not keep their commitments and instead terminate transit via Ukraine as soon as the new gas link to Germany is up and running.

The 1,200-kilometre Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which is scheduled for completion this year, 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’s wgospodarce.pl website cited Brok as saying—in an interview published by German tabloid Bild on Friday—that the project “must and can be stopped.”

“It is enough to apply EU law,” the MEP said, as quoted by the website.

The European Parliament this month 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.

EPP's Weber cited as opposing Nord Stream 2

Brok’s remarks published on Friday echoed a view voiced earlier by fellow German politician Manfred Weber, who is running for head of the European Commission with the support of the European People's Party’s (EPP), wgospodarce.pl reported.

Weber was cited by Poland’s Polska The Times newspaper as saying in an interview that he opposed Nord Stream 2 and that the project was not in line with the interests of the European Union.

Weber said in the interview, which Polska The Times published in Polish on Tuesday, that, if elected as European Commission head, he would use all available laws to block the pipeline.

Project under fire

Several dozen MEPs from different European countries late last year appealed to German Chancellor Angela Merkel to halt the controversial pipeline project, which is opposed by Poland.

In a joint open letter, the MEPs said that “Germany’s position on Nord Stream 2 runs counter to the goals of the European Energy Union.”

The Eurodeputies said in their letter—as posted by one of the signatories, German MEP Rebecca Harms, on her website—that Nord Stream 2 “gives Russia additional strategic leverage over the EU because it increases the EU’s energy dependency” on that country.

A commentator for a German newspaper warned last year that the contested Nord Stream 2 gas link to Western Europe is not a business project, but a Russian “weapon against Ukraine.”

A US diplomat was cited as saying in December that Russia was seeking to increase its power in Europe and its grip over Ukraine with a new gas pipeline to Germany.

US Vice President Mike Pence in early April 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.

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.


Source: wgospodarce.pl/Polska The Times

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