On Friday, 29 January, the European Affairs Committee of the Saeima issued a statement regarding the gas pipeline project Nord Stream II. The statement says: “The Nord Stream II project will not serve to promote solidarity and good neighbourly relationships among EU member states, nor will it help diversify energy supply sources and routes. This project contradicts the external dimension of the common energy policy of the EU and will damage the Neighbourhood Policy of the Union, which, in turn, will weaken the EU as a whole.”
The statement issued by the Committee criticises the European Union for its lack of a clear and common position on the Nord Stream II project, urging EU member states to remember their commitment to address energy issues in a spirit of solidarity, based on common interests defined by all member states.
The Committee has adopted the statement being fully aware of the fact that natural gas is one of the key energy resources for energy generation and industrial needs secure transit of which from supplying countries to consumers in EU member states is becoming an increasingly important security concern.
The Committee also underlines that the existing gas transmission pipeline, Nord Stream I, is not operating at its full capacity with throughput reaching merely 60% of the potential volume. Moreover, according to the statement, the Nord Stream I project itself sparked major controversy and Nord Stream II will definitely have a negative impact on the interests, independence and security of the EU and its neighbours.
Lolita Čigāne, Chairperson of the European Affairs Committee of the Saeima, underlines: “If Nord Stream II is implemented, all Russian natural gas delivered to European consumers will be transmitted via Nord Stream I and Nord Stream II, by-passing Ukraine. This clearly shows that Russia’s intent is to ‘push Ukraine out of the game’ using the Nord Stream II project. On the other hand, other investors – several large energy companies – are seeking access to Siberian energy resources in exchange for financing of Nord Stream II’.
Experts from the Ministry of Economics present at the Committee meeting also stressed that Nord Stream II fails to promote diversification of energy supply, therefore contradicting EU Energy Policy.
Saeima Press Service