Estonia's Riigikogu foreign affairs committee has joined several of its counterparts on both sides of the Atlantic in a joint statement calling for greater coordination on opposition to the ongoing Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, with particular reference to Germany, where the western end of the pipeline terminates.
The project not only undermines the European gas market, but also endangers security and threatens an already precarious sovereignty situation in Ukraine, the signatory countries, who include all three Baltic States, as well as the U.S. and Britain, say.
The signatories stated that: "Countering malign Russian aggression is in the vital national security interest of the whole of NATO, the EU and our partners in Central and Eastern Europe," while further agreements on Nord Stream 2 necessitate further transatlantic consultation, they said.
Nord Stream 2 is a geopolitical project geared towards expanding Russia's influence on Europe, though energy dominance, the statement continued.
"The likely repercussion of the completion and operation of Nord Stream 2 is to undermine the development of a single, liberalized, and open European market by consolidating sources of supply in the Nord Stream 2 system and deterring investment in alternatives," the joint statement continues, as reported by BNS.
Germany is a key player in the relationship, the statement noted.
"We expect a clear commitment from Germany to reduce dependency on gas imported from Russia and move towards green energy."
The statement was signed jointly by representatives of the foreign affairs committees of the parliaments of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Poland, Ukraine, the U.K. and the U.S.
Estonia's Riigikogu foreign affairs committee chair, Marko Mihkelson (Reform) said that Nord Stream 2 would be used as a tool to blackmail Ukraine, which is a key transit country between east and west.
Agreement on commitments to Ukraine's security from both NATO and the EU was also key, Mihkelson said, while the statement signatories as a whole called for commitments from NATO to strengthen deterrence, especially on its eastern flank, running from the Baltic to the Black Sea.
Work on Nord Stream 2, running from Ust-Luga near St Petersburg, to Greifswald, close to Germany's Baltic coast, was scheduled for completion, at least according to Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin, this year. Last year, German chancellor Angela Merkel has expressed disagreement with the U.S. approach to sanctions.
Nord Stream 1 started its operations 10 years ago.
Editor: Andrew Whyte