European and American experts and security officials have raised concerns over Russia’s planned Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, calling the $11 billion project a security threat for the EU and NATO, The Kyiv Post reports.
The Nord Stream 2 project is a major expansion of an existing pipeline that will allow Russia to transport directly to Germany 110 billion cubic meters of gas via the Baltic Sea, bypassing Ukraine’s pipelines and increasing Germany’s dependence on Russian gas. Poland, another country bypassed by Russia’s mega project, has been fiercely opposing it.
This week, President Andrzej Duda said the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, meant to transport Russian gas to Germany, would upset the “energy balance” of Europe, also calling it a threat to central and eastern European countries.
With its construction launched three years ago, the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project has dramatically worsened already tense relations between Germany and Poland. Warsaw now highlights the security implications of the project.
Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz warned of the project’s wider geopolitical and security implications.
“The transmission line itself gives Russia a pretext to patrol the entire Baltic Sea or it can be used to send information. It has this military dimension,” said Czaputowicz.
Nord Stream 2 “has the real potential to make Russia a dominant outside actor in Europe without offering economic advantages to European gas consumers,” according to Reka Szemerkenyi, executive vice president of the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA), a U.S.-based think tank.
“The project has the potential and ability to fundamentally redefine the entire European energy landscape for a long time,” the expert said as she presented a report on the divisive Russian venture at the Lviv Security Forum on Thursday.