The heads of the foreign affairs committees of nine parliaments, including the U.S., UK, EU, and Ukraine, issued a joint statement opposing the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
That's according to a joint statement published by U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Ukrinform reports.
“We, the Chairs of Foreign Affairs Committees of our respective national parliaments, continue to oppose the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project and with regret note the recent decision of the United States and Germany on Nord Stream 2, which entails resuming completion of the pipeline,” reads the joint statement.
The completion of the Nord Stream 2 project will strengthen the impact of Russian gas in the European energy mix, endangering the national security of EU member states and the United States, and threatening “the already precarious security and sovereignty of Ukraine.”
The completion of NS2 “will give Russia yet another tool to pressure and blackmail Ukraine,” the joint statement stresses. “It continues to face Russia's brutal aggression and military occupation of its territories because of its pro-European choice.”
“As a result, over 14,000 Ukrainians have died, and every week, more Ukrainian soldiers give their lives to protect their homeland and entire Europe. The EU and United States must work together to increase sanctions pressure on the Kremlin to counter aggression in Ukraine,” say the nine foreign affairs committee chairs.
The text also emphasizes the need to make a collective commitment to increase support for Ukraine's security and defense capabilities in order to prevent a deepening of the current security crisis, exacerbated by the threats created by Nord Stream 2.
The statement also calls for the need “to commit do delivering a road map for Ukraine’s path towards joining the NATO alliance, if Ukraine makes the necessary reforms and meets NATO membership standards. To consolidate the transformation efforts of the Ukrainian government as well as democracy and human rights in the region, we call for a European Union membership perspective to be agreed upon for Ukraine. We must also commit to developing a roadmap for Ukraine's path to NATO if Ukraine carries out the necessary reforms and meets NATO membership standards. To consolidate the Ukrainian government's efforts on transformation, as well as democracy and human rights in the region, we call on the European Union to agree on a membership perspective for Ukraine,” the politicians said.
The joint statement was co-signed by Robert Menendez and chairmen of foreign affairs committees of Ukraine, Estonia, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, and the UK, as well as chairmen of committees of both houses of parliaments in Poland and the Czech Republic.
As Ukrinform reported earlier, on July 21, the U.S. and German governments issued a joint declaration outlining their position on the completion of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. The U.S. committed to refrain from hindering the pipe’s completion, while Germany undertook to impose sanctions on Russia in case Moscow goes for another act of aggression against Ukraine, as well as vowed support for Ukraine in energy transformation.
The document has sparked massive criticism, including from Ukraine. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it had sent formal requests for consultations with Germany and the EU, in line with the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement.
Nord Stream 2 is a Russian gas pipeline under construction, bypassing Ukraine. It is being laid along the Baltic Sea seabed to connect Russia and Germany. The project cost is estimated at EUR 9.5 billion. The sole shareholder is Russia’s energy giant OJSC Gazprom.