Polish FM warns that Nord Stream 2 will endanger peace in Europe

Zbigniew Rau expressed his worries following reports that the US was in talks with Germany over the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which will transport Russian gas to Germany while bypassing Poland.

According to its critics, Nord Stream 2 endangers energy security in Eastern Europe, but the US, in a recent change of tack, has now dropped the threat of sanctions against companies involved in its construction.

"President Joe Biden equates Europe with Germany," Rau told the daily Rzeczpospolita, in an interview published on Friday.

"The US allies found no time to hold consultations with our region of the world, which is most endangered by the results of the decision," Rau stated.

The minister added that when he had met US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in January he had been promised that "no decision would be taken without us."

"We agreed that the Polish-US strategic dialogue should be resumed immediately," Rau said and added that, when there were rumours concerning secret US-German talks concerning the pipeline, he was assured that such consultations were not taking place.

But reacting to recent media reports that US-German talks on the Nord Stream were taking place Rau said that “a formula of US-Russian-German dialogue cannot replace talks with the allies from Nato’s eastern flank.”

"In fact, this pipeline will radically strengthen the common interests of Germany and Russia and will pose a direct threat to peace in Europe," Rau stated, adding that it would also increase the military threat to Ukraine, Poland and other Nato countries in Central Europe.

8 Referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin's words, according to which Ukraine would have to show good will and behave in a proper way after the completion of the pipeline, the Polish minister stated that Russia was conducting aggressive politics towards its neighbours through the use of military aggression, blackmail and threats.

"While conducting these politics, Russia will be strengthened and Nato will be weakened," he said, adding that Nord Stream 2 was designed to break the unity of the West.

"The German government has already fallen into this trap, and now the Biden Administration is doing the same," Rau warned, adding that this will lead to an escalation in Russia's aggressive behaviour.

Rau said on Thursday that he and other ministers in Eastern Europe had learned of the USA's change of position over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from the media, and that they were now awaiting clarification from Washington.

According to the Russian company Gazprom, the main investor in Nord Stream 2, the pipeline is already 94 percent complete. It consists of two lines, each of which is approximately 1,230 kilometres long. If completed, it will be able to transport 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Russia to Germany annually.