Putin: Nord Stream 2 is an 'economic project' to meet demands
When you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters. Sometimes they’ll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer. Our Privacy Notice explains more about how we use your data, and your rights. You can unsubscribe at any time.
And Daniel Kawczynski said there was increasing concern among his colleagues about the controversial project, which will bring liquified gas directly from Germany to Russia, and which critics claims runs counter to the principles of both the European Union and NATO. Speaking yesterday, Mr Biden said he decided not to impose sanctions because the project was almost complete, and doing so could have harmed ties with Europe.
Mr Kawczysnki, MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham, a persistent critic of the project, told Express.co.uk: “I think we had seen with Belarus what the Russian axis is capable of, even jeopardising the lives of passengers by hijacking an aircraft.
“So, if they’re prepared to do that, they’re prepared to do all sorts of other things via this pipeline.”
He added: “I think the Democrats would argue, I disagree with them on this, but the Democrats would argue that America’s relationship with Europe and Germany in particular was severely damaged by President Trump.
“Actually to be honest with you I think that President Trump did very, very well in forcing countries like Germany to publicly account for why they do not spend the prerequisite two percent of GDP on NATO.”
Mr Kawczynski, who said MPs were becoming increasingly alarmed at the prospect of the pipeline’s completion, said: “It’s the British taxpayer as you will know that spends a disproportionate amount of money, safeguarding our continent.
“The Germans don’t invest in nuclear weapons capability – that is left to the British taxpayer – and spend 1.1 percent of GDP on defence.
JUST IN: Oh dear, Angela! Merkel misery as polls shows CDU TRAILING Greens
“I think President Trump was actually doing something very, very important. But Democrats believe they have a relationship to repair, and they don’t want to antagonise the Germans.
“I think it’s a terrible mistake, because this will empower Germany to continue to implement various policies which are out of kilter with NATO, and their determination to create a single European army is going to be the great threat and challenge that we will have to face.
“So this is the thin end of the wedge. The timing and conduct of the new administration in America is, I am afraid, very irresponsible.”
Brit expats ‘wrongly’ held in ‘fake’ residency papers row [INSIGHT]
Brexit LIVE: Frost fears ‘bumpy’ EU relationship and document leaked [LIVE BLOG]
Thornberry casts doubt on trade future as EU ruled policy for 50 years [VIDEO]
Mr Biden, who is preparing for his first visit to Europe and his first meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin next month, told reporters he had opposed the new pipeline since its inception.
However, he said he had held off on sanctions because it was “almost completely finished” by the time he took office in January.
Asked why he was letting Germany and Russia complete the project, Biden said, “Because it’s almost completely finished, number one.
“And it’s not like I can allow Germany to do something or not to go ahead and impose sanctions now would, I think, be counter-productive in terms of our European relations.”
Mr Biden, who keen to build a united front against both Russia and China, has moved quickly to repair ties with Germany and other key European allies that were badly frayed during the administration of former President Donald Trump.
The State Department last week said Nord Stream 2 AG – the German company behind the Russian gas pipeline to Germany – and its CEO, Matthias Warnig, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, engaged in sanctionable activity, but waived those sanctions for what it called national security reasons.
Mr Biden said the Germans were aware of his concerns.
He explained: “They know how strongly I feel and I hope we can work on how they handle it from this point on.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday said she expects further discussions with the United States on the Nord Stream 2 project after the sanctions waiver.
Gazprom and its Western partners are racing to finish the pipeline to send natural gas under the Baltic Sea.
The project, now about 95 percent complete, would bypass Ukraine, depriving it of lucrative transit fees and potentially undermining its struggle against Russian aggression.
Source: Read Full Article