Poland opposed to 'political' gas pipeline

Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom's employees work at a gas pipeline construction site © Sergei Karpukhin
The construction of the Nord Stream-2 natural gas pipeline from Russia to Germany is a 'political project' which is against the rules of the EU, says Polish President Andrzej Duda.

“As for Nord Stream-2, we do not agree with such investment, it has nothing in common with the economy and is unprofitable,” he said on Monday at a news conference in Brussels, adding that, “such investments are political.”

Poland is among nine Eastern European countries which last month sent a letter to the European Commission calling it to block the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea. The countries said the project goes against the EU’s energy diversification and security policies.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel defended the pipeline, saying it was “a commercial project” as there were private investors. She was supported by the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker who said the project should be considered not a political issue, but a commercial one.

Russia’s Gazprom holds a 50 percent stake in the project. The other 50 percent is divided equally between Royal Dutch Shell, Germany’s E.ON and BASF, Austria’s OMV and France’s Engie.

In September, Gazprom signed a deal to begin construction of two new pipes that will deliver an additional 55 billion cubic meters alongside the existing Nord Stream pipeline which bypasses Ukraine.

The project is necessary due to the continuing problem of reliability of gas transit though Ukraine.