The Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline project is a threat to Europe's energy security, Mike Pompeo, the U.S. secretary of state said late Tuesday.
Pompeo, during a news conference in Warsaw with Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz, said that Washington is opposed to the Nord Stream 2 project as Russia could gain advantages in raising natural gas exports.
He claimed that European countries' dependence on Russia would increase.
The Nord Stream 2 project remains on track to come online by the end of 2019.
Five European companies - Shell, Germany's Wintershall and Uniper, France's Engie and Austria's OMV - have been helping to finance its construction.
The 1,200 kilometers-long pipeline project would double the capacity of the existing link between Russia and Germany.
The pipeline would take Russia's 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas straight to Germany through the Baltic Sea, while bypassing Ukraine, thus potentially leading to an increase in Ukraine's vulnerability in the region.
The U.S. is looking to challenge Russia by stepping up its imports of U.S. LNG.
In July 2018, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to strengthen the U.S.-EU strategic cooperation with respect to energy.
The parties agreed to work towards the greater facilitation of U.S. natural gas shipments to Europe to diversify and further secure the union's energy supplies.
In 2017, only 10 percent of U.S. LNG exports went to European countries.
The U.S. became a net natural gas exporter in 2017 for the first time in almost 60 years, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
The country saw exports of its LNG increase 58 percent through the first half of 2018, compared with the same period in 2017.
By Murat Temizer