MEP Paksas defends Nord Stream 2 project in EU parliament
In a discussion at the European Parliament, Lithuanian MEP Rolandas Paksas on Thursday called on politicians to refrain from criticizing plans to expand the Nord Stream gas pipeline between Russia and Germany and to look for benefits in the project that causes concern to the Lithuanian government.
The former chairman of Lithuania's Order and Justice party called for "giving up politicking that creates low value-added" and for look for "economic benefits, rather than for political dividends" in the project known as Nord Stream 2.
"Nord Stream did not emerge either yesterday or the day before yesterday. Obviously, it will not be possible to build the Great Wall of China in Europe, to close its airspace or to fence off its undersea territories," he said during the debate in Strasbourg.
The Lithuanian politician, who spoke on behalf of his Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy group, was the only participant in the discussion who spoke about the project's benefits.
According to Paksas, politicized energy drives up prices for energy resources.
"Due to politicians' inability to agree and to seek common ground, the public will always be forced to pay more for gas, electricity or oil products," he said.
Many other MEPs said during the discussion that the project, which is being developed by Russia's Gazprom and several European companies, would increase Europe's dependence on Russia, deal a blow to Ukraine as a transit country and damage to the environment, a position backed by the Lithuanian government.
Miguel Arias Canete, the European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, said that Nord Stream 2 was not in line with the EU's energy policy goals.
Supporters of the project argue that it will help lower gas prices in Europe.