Fear of Energy: Polish Prime Minister Calls Nord Stream 2 ‘Highly Dangerous’

Poland, one of the countries opposed to the creation of the international project known as Nord Stream 2 pipeline, to deliver gas and oil from Russia’s energy fields to Europe has proposed an alternative project which would create its own pipeline, dubbed Baltic Pipe. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has criticized the Nord Stream 2 project, Polish Radio reported on Friday (9 March).

“Poland achieved independence from Russia’s Gazprom long ago; we’ve created a terminal in the city of Swinoujscie and are now planning to increase its processing capabilities, Moreover, we are now in talks with Denmark and Norway,” Morawiecki said during a press conference after talks with his Lithuanian opposite number.

The official noted that Poland and other Baltic states considers Nord Stream 2 “highly dangerous for this part of Europe.” This is understandable as in the past Russia has tended to treat Poland as a semi – autonomour province. The Poles also have little reason to trust their southern neighbour Germany, which also has a track record for using Poland as a training ground for its combat troops.

The head of the German energy company Uniper took a different line, saying that the completion of Nord Stream 2 was necessary to provide security for gas deliveries to Europe.

Last month it was reported that Poland intended to launch its own gas pipeline project, Baltic Pipe, which, in contrast to Nord Stream 2, would lead from Denmark instead of Russia. It is hard to see any logic in this as North Sea gas fields are becoming depleted and rumours of massive, unexplored oil and gas fields off The Shetland Islands are unconfirmed as yet. Poland has already tried to block the construction of Nord Stream 2, with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki asking US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to make sure that US sanctions cover Nord Stream 2 and those European companies that involved in the project be fined.

A press release by Nord Stream 2 suggests the first pipes for the Nord Stream 2 project are being fabricated at a plant of OMK, which is one of the three pipe suppliers selected by Nord Stream 2 AG, in Vyksa, Russia, in this undated photo provided to Reuters on March 23, 2017. Poland claimed that Nord Stream 2 would increase Europe’s dependence on imported Russian gas.

Nord Stream 2 is a joint venture of Russia’s Gazprom with France’s Engie, Austria’s OMV AG, UK-Dutch Royal Dutch Shell, and Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall. It aims to deliver 55 billion cubic meters of Russian natural gas a year to the European Union across the Baltic Sea to Germany.

The pipeline project has been welcomed by some countries in Europe and opposed by some others, including Ukraine and Poland, while the United States has also expressed its opposition.

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