The Nord Stream 2 is a new gas pipeline project running from Russia to Europe. The scheme will run across the Baltic Sea and will establish a direct link between Russian hydrocarbon giant Gazprom and consumers in Europe. Promoters of the scheme say it will allow a highly reliable supply of Russian gas to Europe.
In early February Germany’s Angela Merkel said the nation was committed to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, albeit adding that this was “for the time being”.
However, hitting out at Ms Merkel’s enthusiasm for the project the foreign ministers of Ukraine and Poland said: “We respect Germany’s right to express their point of view.
“But we also strongly believe that these kinds of projects cannot be viewed narrowly through the lens of bilateral relations.
“They should instead be approached from a broader perspective of Europe’s interests and security as a whole.”
They stated that involvement in the Russian pipeline scheme had its dangers of further influence from the Kremlin in European affairs.
Writing in Politico the foreign ministers said it would allow an autocratic state such as Russia to have “spheres of privileged interests and opt for reinstatement of ‘concert of powers’ thus implying control over the fate of other nations”.
Ukraine, currently embroiled in prolonged tensions with Moscow over the Crimean annexation, is against Europe’s involvement in the pipeline scheme.
Both Dmytro Kuleba, the Ukrainian foreign minister, and Rau Zbigniew, the Polish foreign minister, have said the US should urge the EU to back away from pursuing Nord Stream 2.
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They claim it will follow an earlier pipeline, Nord Stream 1, in sabotaging “Europe’s energy security”.
The foreign ministers have told how their “calls for vigilance and boldness were heard in the US Congress, which pressed on with measures designed to stop this dangerous, divisive project”.
In an opinion piece written for Politico Mr Kuleba and Mr Rau Zbigniew urged the US to influence the EU in creating a free and “resilient” West and to abandon the Nord Stream 2 project.
In the Politico opinion piece, they state: “We call on US President Joe Biden to use all means at his disposal to prevent the project from completion.”
They added: “Poland and Ukraine have a shared interest in a strong, vibrant and resilient West.
“We are united behind a great vision, pursued by all US presidents since the end of World War II, of a free, united Europe that is prosperous and at peace.”