EU legislators have urged to halt the Russian-European pipeline project, aimed at delivering 55 billion cubic metres of gas annually, after the US House of Representatives slammed the venture as “drastic step backward for European energy security and US interests” and supported sanctions against it.
Members of the European Parliament have voted to adopt a non-binding resolution calling for the Nord Stream 2 project to be cancelled. In the document, evaluating the latest developments related to the 2017 EU-Ukraine association agreement, MEPs praised Kiev’s “crucial role” in the continent’s energy supply and condemned the venture, saying “it is a political project that poses a threat to European energy security”.
The Russian Foreign Ministry slammed the European Parliament’s resolution as politically motivated, stating it has nothing to do with the economy. Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said during a Thursday briefing that hampering energy cooperation is crazy for Europe which needs energy resources.
It’s not the first time that Nord Stream 2 has come under fire from EU legislators of late. After November’s Kerch Strait incident in which three Ukrainian Navy ships were detained after violating Russia’s maritime border and failing to react to legal demands to abandon dangerous manoeuvres, MEP from Germany Manfred Weber, who has long been opposed to Nord Stream 2, urged Europe to reconsider its investment in the pipeline. Then a MEP from Latvia, Sandra Kalniete, prepared a resolution to be reviewed in the parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs that calls for measures aimed at suspending the project.
READ MORE: ‘No One Would Benefit’ From German Withdrawal From Nord Stream 2 — Berlin
The resolution draft “underlined that Russia and the EU will remain key economic partners in the foreseeable future, but Nord Stream 2 reinforces EU dependency on Russian gas supplies, threatens the EU internal market and is not in line with EU energy policy, and therefore needs to be stopped”.
Incidentally, the European Parliament adopted the non-binding resolution opposing Nord Stream 2 just a day after the lower chamber of the US Congress condemned the Nord Stream 2 undersea pipeline project with a symbolic bipartisan resolution. The House urged EU countries to stop what the representatives denounced as a “drastic step backward for European energy security and United States interests” called on Donald Trump to “support European energy security through a policy of diversification to lessen reliance on Russia”.
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov lambasted the US resolution as another manifestation of unscrupulous competition that Moscow considers “incorrect and unacceptable”. He called it an “attempt to prevent the implementation of a purely commercial economic project”. According to Peskov, this is “nothing more than camouflaged dishonest competition”.
Both resolutions followed statements by US National Security Advisor John Bolton who said last week that Washington was considering some options to stop the construction of the pipeline.
READ MORE: Firms Involved in Russian Nord Stream 2 Face Risk of US Sanctions — State Dept
The 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. It aims to deliver 55 billion cubic metres (some 2 trillion cubic feet) of Russian natural gas per year to the European Union through the Baltic Sea, bypassing Ukraine.
The pipeline project has been welcomed by some countries in Europe and opposed by a number of others, including Ukraine, Poland, and the Baltic States, while the United States has also expressed opposition.