The Nord Stream gas pipeline sabotage last year disrupted Moscow’s ‘dominance’ plans for Europe, Andrzej Duda has claimed
The sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipelines delivering Russian gas to Europe was a good thing, Polish President Andrzej Duda told CNN on Wednesday. The destruction of the pipelines freed the continent from Russia’s “dominance” plans, the Polish leader claimed, adding that it ended the European nation’s dependence on Russian gas.
His words came in light of some recent media reports stating that some pro-Ukrainian forces might have been behind the attack on the pipeline, which took place in September 2022. Duda said he could not confirm if it was a pro-Ukrainian act or not, but noted that if Nord Stream ceased “to exist,” it would be “beneficial” for Europe anyway.
Poland was one of the major opponents of the gas pipeline project and even lobbied for it to be dismantled in August 2022, roughly a month before the attack. Duda also called the project part of Europe’s appeasement strategy in relations with Russia.
Earlier this week, citing US intelligence sources, the New York Times reported that a “pro-Ukrainian group” was behind the September 2022 attack. The outlet then reported that Western intelligence agencies were well aware of the identity of the person behind the sabotage, but decided to conceal this information to avoid a spat between Berlin and Kiev because the suspect had ties to Ukraine.
The Polish president, who spoke to CNN during his visit to the United Arab Emirates, also suggested handing all Polish MiG-29 fighter jets over to Kiev, but only as part of an international coalition supplying Ukraine with aircraft. “We are ready to deliver these planes, and I am sure that Ukraine would be ready to use them immediately,” he said, without specifying how many Soviet-made planes Warsaw still has in its arsenal.
Duda also called for Ukrainian pilots to be trained to operate the US-made F-16 fighter jets, arguing that Kiev’s Armed Forces would like to be “up to NATO standards” anyway. “The training of Ukrainian pilots is important and it is quite necessary,” he said.
According to CNN, at least two Ukrainian pilots are currently in the US, where they have their skills tested in flight simulators to see how much time they would need to learn to fly various US-made military aircraft.