Criticizing the decision of the outgoing German government on the gas pipeline linking Germany to Russia, the former president of the European Council and leader of the European People’s Party (EPP), Donald Tusk said that Nord Stream 2 was the biggest mistake of the outgoing German chancellor.
According to Tusk, Angela Merkel was helpless against the lobby power of the German businessmen who pushed through the project aiming to bypass Ukraine as a transit country, linking Russia directly to Germany.
He added that the readiness of Berlin to continue energy cooperation with Russia is a problem strategically.
Addressing a conference on the future of Europe in Gdańsk, he said he believes that the gas project is bad from the perspective of EU interests although it’s not typical for him to publicly use critical language against the outgoing CDU/CSU-led German government.
This is especially important considering the fact that if it wasn’t for Merkel’s support, it would not have been possible for Tusk to be elected president of the European Council in 2014 and leader of the EPP in 2019, where Merkel was the most influential domestic leader.
This move seems to be in line with his efforts to present himself as more credible than the Polish government in the criticism of Merkel’s policy regarding Russian gas supplies in time when he challenges the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, the biggest rival of his Civic Platform, the biggest Polish opposition party he returned to lead recently.
Tusk stressed in his address that he has done everything to make the European Union independent of Russian gas supplies, such as by creating the mechanism of common gas purchases – Energy Union Strategy, a European Commission project to transform European energy supply.
The initiative launched in February 2015 aims to provide secure, sustainable, competitive, affordable energy to EU countries in Central and Eastern Europe.