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Poland presses on Nord Stream 2

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World Pipelines,

While Gazprom aims to start construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline this year, the Polish government is putting pressure on the European Commission (EC) on a ruling as to whether the pipeline conforms with EU law.

Several western companies – Eon, Engie, OMV, Shell and Wintershall – decided not to participate in Gazprom’s Nord Stream 2 project, in August. The pipeline project plans to construct and operate two additional strings of undersea gas pipeline between Russia and Germany.

Poland has long led attempts to block Nord Stream 2. Its government is now pressurising on the European Commission (EC) to rule whether a new Russian gas pipeline conforms with EU law. Beata Szydlo, the Polish Prime Minister, stated: “more and more countries are highlighting the role of the EC in Nord Stream.”

If the EC were to rule that Nord Stream 2’s offshore parts must fully comply with EU energy laws, this will reduce Russia’s control over infrastructure and, therefore, the project could be put in doubt.

“We expect the commission to fulfill its duties, to defend the directives that we passed, to check whether all the norms, conditions for such an investment are being respected. Our strong voice was supported by the the Visegrad Group [a group containing Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia], Baltic and Balkan countries,” she added.

Poland’s EU Affairs Minister, Konrad Szymanski, stated that Nordic states are “in favour of a clear stance of the commission on the legal situation of Nord Stream.”

He highlighted that EU institutions and member states should share the responsibility for decisions regarding the pipeline.

He believes that Nord Stream 2 would mock the sanctions that the EU has pace with regards to Ukraine, stating: “[It would mean that] the EU, in effect, gives succour to a regime whose aggression it seeks to punish through sanctions.”

Russia still has support within the European Council. Italy recently blocked a proposal by France, Germany, Poland and the UK to blacklist Russian officials over the Syria air strikes.

Szymanski added that EU states “still need to find a common denominator, as countries far from the Russian border don't see it as a problem.”

According to, the first sections of Nord Stream 2 will be welded and ready by the end of November of this year. North Stream 2 should see the construction of two gas with a total capacity of 55 billion m3, which will connect Russia and Germany. Capital expenditures on the project are estimated at €8 billion.

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