* Pipeline to bypass Ukraine, pump Russian gas to Germany
* Poland wants regulatory scrutiny
* Central, eastern European nations also oppose (Adds quotes, background)
By Wiktor Szary
BRUSSELS, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Polish President Andrzej Duda said on Monday a plan to build a new pipeline to pump Russian gas to Germany bypassing Ukraine is driven by politics rather than economics and undermines the European Union’s solidarity.
“We disagree with this investment. It has nothing to do with economics,” Duda said at a joint briefing with European Council President Donald Tusk in Brussels. “It is an investment of a political nature.”
Russia’s Gazprom and a group of European companies agreed on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline last year, raising protests mostly among central and southern European countries that worry it will deepen energy dependence on Russia.
The European Commission has warned investors the project will be reviewed for conformity with EU law and that its priority is to diversify suppliers, while maintaining Ukraine’s status as a transit nation.
Poland will push its objections to Nord Stream 2 in Brussels, Duda said.
“It is contrary to European law because it undermines energy solidarity in Europe,” he said. “We will raise these issues at the European level because we want to put forward real arguments, legal arguments.”
Tusk told reporters he and Duda held a similar stance on the Nord Stream 2 project to increase gas flows to the EU from Russia, which supplies about a third of the bloc’s energy. (Writing by Alissa de Carbonnel; Editing by Dale Hudson)