by ANNA MARIA ANDERS
The European Union has effectively relinquished energy sovereignty and embraced the construction of a new pipeline, dubbed Nord Stream 2, which would double supplies of Russian natural gas to Europe. Far from being a boon, this will have baleful consequences for the continent, the security of NATO, and indeed for the Atlantic alliance as a whole. Europeans and Americans alike should be alarmed.
Nord Stream 2 will deepen the E.U.’s already considerable dependence on Russian natural gas, making the continent even more susceptible to Russian political pressure and blackmail. It would give Russia a potent new weapon with which to pit E.U. members against one another, and the E.U. against the United States. Russian dominance of Europe’s energy market will leave NATO logistics vulnerable — after all, military equipment needs fuel, too.
Fortunately, Europe is not condemned to reliance on Nord Stream 2. One important alternative is the Baltic Pipeline, which will cross Denmark to link Norway’s massive offshore gas fields with Poland and is scheduled for completion in 2022. The Baltic Pipeline will free Poland from dependence on gas imported from Russia.
Another alternative is liquefied natural gas from the United States, Qatar and other reliable suppliers. Poland has already signed a long-term contract for deliveries of LNG from the United States.
Poland is blazing a path toward energy security. Europe should do the same — and reject dependence on Russian gas, with all the dangers it brings.
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