Parliamentary Foreign Committees of nine countries oppose Nord Stream 2

The Nord Stream2 gas pipeline being plotted in Swedish territorial waters in 2020. Photo: NORD-STREAM2.COM 

International

The Foreign Affairs Committees of nine countries issued a joint statement in opposition to the recent agreement between the USA and Germany to allow the completion of Nord Stream 2. The statement, signed by U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and his counterparts from Estonia, Czech Republic, Ireland, Latvia, Poland, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and Lithuania, was published on 2 August:

“We, the Chairs of Foreign Affairs Committees of our respective national parliaments, continue to oppose the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project and with regret note the recent decision of the United States and Germany on Nord Stream 2, which entails resuming completion of the pipeline. 

We consider Nord Stream 2 a geopolitical project geared towards expanding Russia’s influence on Europe by dominating the energy market. The completion of the pipeline will strengthen the impact of Russian gas in the European energy mix, endanger the national security of EU member states and the United States, and threaten the already precarious security and sovereignty of Ukraine. 

Moreover, the completion of NS2 will give Russia yet another tool to pressure and blackmail Ukraine. It continues to face Russia’s brutal aggression and military occupation of its territories because of its pro-European choice. As a result, over 14,000 Ukrainians have died, and every week, more Ukrainian soldiers give their lives to protect their homeland and entire Europe. The EU and United States must work together to increase sanctions pressure on the Kremlin to counter aggression in Ukraine.

The likely repercussion of the completion and operation of Nord Stream 2 is to undermine the development of a single, liberalized, and open European market by consolidating sources of supply in the Nord Stream 2 system and deterring investment in alternatives. We expect a clear commitment from Germany to reduce dependency on gas imported from Russia and move towards green energy. We presume that Germany will handle its responsibility towards these goals with the utmost dedication. We need to make a collective commitment to increase support to the security and defence capabilities of Ukraine in order to prevent a deepening of the current security crisis, exacerbated by the threats created by Nord Stream 2. 

In the changing security environment in the region, we call for commitments from NATO to strengthen deterrence, especially on the Eastern Flank from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea. We also need to commit to delivering a road map for Ukraine’s path towards joining the NATO alliance, if Ukraine makes the necessary reforms and meets NATO membership standards. To consolidate the transformation efforts of the Ukrainian government as well as democracy and human rights in the region, we call for a European Union membership perspective to be agreed upon for Ukraine.

We insist that any further agreements on Nord Stream 2 necessitate consultations across the transatlantic family. Moreover, such diplomacy should happen with the fundamental principle in mind – countering malign Russian aggression is in all of NATO’s, all EU members, and our partners in Central and Eastern Europe vital national security interests.”

The US-German deal, signed on 22 July 2021, offers vague assurances to Ukraine in the case Russia would use energy as a weapon. It came after US President Biden waived bipartisan sanctions that U.S. had imposed on German companies involved in the construction of the pipeline, ending a prolonged standoff between the two countries. The Russian-German pipeline will allow Russia to transport natural gas to the EU, circumventing Ukraine’s gas transport system and giving Russia a monopoly on Europe’s gas market.

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