January 29, 2018 / 10:38 AM / in 9 months

Poland wants U.S. sanctions to cover Nord Stream 2

WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland wants the United States to impose sanctions on the planned Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said in a newspaper interview published on Monday.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline project is seen on a board at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2017 (SPIEF 2017) in St. Petersburg, Russia, June 1, 2017. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin/File Photo

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in Warsaw on Saturday that the United States sees Nord Stream 2 as a threat to Europe’s energy security.

The project would double Russia’s capacity to pipe gas across the Baltic Sea to Germany and beyond to 110 billion cubic metres (bcm) per year.

“Yes, we talked about Nord Stream 2. We want the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to fall under the U.S. sanctions bill ...which includes, among others, sanctions against Russia,” Morawiecki told newspaper Dziennik Gazeta Prawna (DGP).

“The interpretation of this document so far by the U.S. State Department was ambiguous and unsatisfactory for us,” he said.

Poland imports most of the gas it uses from Russia but plans to diversify, making it a lucrative market in a battle for gas exports between Washington and Moscow.

The country opened its first LNG terminal at the Baltic Sea port of Swinoujscie in 2016 and last year Warsaw received its first spot delivery of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG). State-run gas firm PGNiG plans to buy more following an agreement signed in November.

Poland does not intend to extend its long-term import deal with Russian exporter Gazprom when it expires in 2022 as it looks to rely more on Swinoujscie and on a planned gas link with Norway. Poland also has LNG import deals with Qatar.

Warsaw along with Ukraine and the Baltic States fears Nord Stream 2 would increase Europe’s dependence on Russian gas.

Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko; editing by Lidia Kelly and Jason Neely

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