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US says Russian gas link to Germany hurts European security

Russian President Vladimir Putin (U.S. Department of State/Flickr)
January 27, 2018

The expansion of Russia’s gas pipeline to Germany under the Baltic Sea, which bypasses a number of east European nations, will allow the Kremlin to use energy as a “political tool,” U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in Warsaw.

Tillerson, speaking after meeting with Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki Saturday, said Europe should seek to diversify energy supplies and that the U.S. saw the Nord Stream 2 pipeline as “undermining Europe’s overall energy stability and security.”

NATO member Poland has repeatedly tried to block the deal, saying it would leave countries like itself and Ukraine vulnerable if Russia decided to shut down the gas pipelines running across its territory to Western Europe. Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz said Poland wanted U.S. help in stopping Nord Stream 2, which is being built by Russian gas giant Gazprom.

“It’s not a helpful piece of infrastructure to support stability in Europe,” Tillerson said. “We will continue to take steps as we can.”

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© 2018 Bloomberg News

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.