Nord Stream
© Reuters / Stine Jacobsen
Pipes being laid for Nord Stream 2 pipeline in the Baltic Sea, September 13, 2019
It is "rubbish" for Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki to claim that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which will deliver a supply of cheap gas from Russia to the EU, is a "threat" to European energy security, analyst John Laughland told RT.

Morawiecki said at a press conference on Tuesday that the pipeline, currently under construction, posed a "threat to energy security" in the Baltic region. Poland and the Baltic states have consistently complained that the project affords Russia too much leverage over Europe's energy supply, despite the fact that EU heavyweight Germany has backed the project, touting its economic benefit.

"The opening of a new pipeline does not threaten energy security," international commenter John Laughland told RT, explaining that Russia was not going to prevent Europe from going elsewhere for gas if it wanted to.

"Russia provides gas in a market - and Europe is welcome to open other sources of gas through the Black Sea or Turkey or wherever, if it wants to."

"The idea that this is a threat to energy security is crazy. There are many other sources of energy apart from gas and the sources of gas are themselves numerous," he added.

Europe is, of course, interested in diversifying its energy sources and Moscow would not have stopped it, for example, from building the failed Nabucco Pipeline through the Black Sea, he said. Nabucco would have run from the Turkish-Bulgarian border to Austria, but never succeeded due to lack of investment as Iran, Turkmenistan, Egypt and Iraq all pulled out of the project, with Azerbaijan finally rejecting the idea.

Speaking at the same news conference, Lithuanian PM Saulius Skvernelis described Nord Stream 2 as a "geopolitical project with no economic justification." That was an ironic comment, Laughland said, because "the truth is that Mr. Skvernelis's own statements are geopolitical and make no economic sense."

It is "crazy" for Skvernelis to suggest that Germany supports the Nord Stream 2 project for geopolitical reasons, when in fact it is "precisely for economic reasons" that Berlin wants it to continue.

"Germany wants a supply of cheap gas and this paranoia about Russia using gas as a geopolitical instrument is dangerous fantasy and it discredits those who make such claims."

Berlin is, therefore, likely to "ignore" Poland and Lithuania's latest complaints and continue to campaign for the pipeline to go ahead, Laughland said, noting that Chancellor Angela Merkel had repeatedly reminded her European neighbors that Germany and Europe bought gas from Russia even at the height of the Cold War.

The Balts are heavily influenced by US policy on the Nord Stream 2 project and the latest comments are all part of the "battle" for the European market, Laughland said. Countries like Poland and Lithuania are now campaigning on behalf of Washington for Europe to purchase "expensive American [Liquefied Natural Gas] instead of cheap Russian gas." The US has even considered imposing sanctions on the pipeline in an attempt to strongarm Europe into buying American gas. Poland has already signed a deal with Washington agreeing to buy millions of tons of US LNG starting in 2022 or 2023.

But efforts to "sabotage" Nord Stream 2 have not been successful so far, Laughland said, noting that construction is still going ahead on the pipeline. It is currently about three-quarters complete, the latest objections are "nothing new" and Germany has indicated that it won't give into pressure.

Ultimately, Laughland said, comments from Morawiecki and Skvernelis are just another example of "using security arguments to advance political goals."