In the article, Deputy Minister Konrad Szymański stresses that “the EU’s focus should be on the desirability of the project, but the recent debate is much more about accommodating the controversial pipeline running from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea.” The deputy minister also argues that the current debate on Nord Stream 2 should not shift into simply haggling over a certain level of transit that would make it acceptable for the EU to okay the project.
“The negative impact of Nord Stream 2 is not limited to Ukraine. The pipeline will also have political and economic effects on the EU, aggravating our dependency on Russia,” argues Szymański. He warns that in the worst-case scenario, Russia could even cut off gas supply, which transits through Ukraine, to some countries. “Russia, unfortunately, has a long record of ignoring its own declarations and obligations, especially when it comes to Ukraine,” notes the MFA deputy minister.
“In a dynamically changing international environment, we are spending billions of euros from EU and national budgets on increasing our energy security. But if we allow Nord Stream 2 to increase Gazprom’s dominant position, all our efforts will be in vain,” stresses Konrad Szymański. He also warns that Nord Stream 2 would make it easier for Gazprom to resort to discriminatory pricing and other anti-competitive practices.
Poland’s deputy foreign minister also points out that one of the most pressing issues is to extend EU rules to all gas pipelines — not only those between EU members, but also from third countries. Otherwise, “if we are not able to apply our own rules to Nord Stream 2, a project that is detrimental to our market and evidently harmful to our important partner Ukraine, our credibility as the Union will be gravely undermined.”