EU parliament condemns Nord Stream 2 construction

MEPs expressed their concerns over the construction of a second gas pipeline through the Baltic Sea, which is a part of the Germany and Russia Nord Stream 2 project.

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In a resolution that was agreed, MEPs acknowledged the crucial role that Ukraine plays in the European energy supply network. Polish MEP, Anna Fotyga, proposed an amendment that condemned the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline which bypasses Ukraine, “as it is a political project that poses a threat to European energy security.”

Members of the EU Parliament debated over the association agreement with Ukraine and evaluated the reforms the country has made. But there was no escape from the subject of its conflict with Russia and questions on appropriate reaction to Russia’s aggression in the Kerch Strait.

“I have been warning for years that the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 projects are damaging the integration process within European Union. They prove the lack of European solidarity and they are a threat to the security of Central and Eastern European states,” stressed Ms Fotyga.

The parliament therefore called for the pipeline project to be cancelled with a vote of 433 in favour to 105 opposed to the resolution. There were 30 abstentions.

Nord Stream 2 is a twin pipeline laid over a distance of 1,200 kilometres underneath the Baltic Sea due for launch in 2019. The gas pipeline is set to begin supplying gas from the Russian Federation to Germany.

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Transatlantic opposition

The US House of Representatives also voiced their opposition to the project, passing a resolution calling on governments of European states to oppose the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Congressmen were also in favor of US sanctions on that investment and condemned Russia for its aggression in the Kerch Strait.

According to the resolution “Nord Stream 2 is a drastic step backwards for Europe’s energy security and the interests of the USA.” Congress called on European governments to reject the project and the US President to “use all available means for supporting European energy security through diversification and reducing dependence on Russia.

Congress also called US sanctions on Nord Stream 2 in accordance with available legislation to sanction opponents of the USA. The text also noted that “Russia controls nearly 40 percent of gas supplies to Europe”, that “11 European states import at least 75 percent of their gas needs from Russia” and that “Nord Stream 2 will increase Russian influence over the European market”. The resolution goes on to state that it is in the “geopolitical interests of Russia for Nord Stream 2 to cause divisions among European states and to severely restrict the transit of gas through the existing system in Ukraine.”

Nord Stream 2 is a joint German-Russian project involving the Russian “Gazprom” state company and five western energy companies, including German, French and British-Dutch ones. The pipeline is to run through the bottom of the Baltic sea between Russia and Germany and is to be completed by the end of 2019. The project is opposed by Poland, Ukraine and the Baltic states.

Congress also adopted a resolution condemning Russian aggression against Ukraine in the Kerch Strait area and calls on the US President and US allies to hold Russia to account for its actions. Both the Republicans and Democrats supported the resolution that emphasized the significance of the “independence and security of Ukraine”.