Poland will try to convince Germany to reconsider the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in the wake of the nerve agent attack on former Russian intelligence officer Skripal in London, Polish Secretary of State for European Affairs Konrad Szymanski said Monday.
“[Nord Stream 2] will surely be the most important issue of the talks, because after Salisbury we have a new situation. It is, beyond doubt, one of the aspects of Russian policy regarding Europe, not regarding the UK. And we should consider once again whether Russia is a trustworthy partner… Nord Stream 2 carries only negative consequences, but Germany is an independent state as much as Poland,” Szymanski told RMF FM radio.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas commented Friday that Germany does not link Nord Stream 2 to the Skripal incident, as the project is a commercial and economic enterprise, and the countries must abide by this principle.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is visiting Poland on Monday to hold talks with the country’s leadership.
Nord Stream 2 is a joint venture of Russia’s Gazprom with France’s Engie, Austria’s OMV AG, UK-Dutch Royal Dutch Shell, and Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall. The project aims to deliver 55 billion cubic meters of Russian natural gas a year to the European Union across the Baltic Sea to Germany. The pipeline project has been welcomed by some countries in Europe, such as Germany and Austria, and opposed by others, including eastern European states, which currently transfer Russian gas to Europe and may suffer transit revenues drop if the Nord Stream 2 is implemented.
Bilateral relations between Russia and the United Kingdom deteriorated following the attempted poison attack on Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury. Several countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States and Poland blamed the attack on Moscow. Russia denied all accusations and expressed readiness to collaborate on the investigation. The two countries have already imposed restrictive measures on each other, including the freezing of diplomatic contacts.