Because, despite the fact their first concern is their own energy security, the Poles do have a point regarding their frenemy Ukraine, things could get a bit chaotic for Kyiv if Nord Stream 2 is completed as planned.
Maybe the Ukraine follow-up plan is mixed in the same stack as the follow-up for the "We came, we saw, he died" Libya plan.
Here are three stories on some aspects of the current state of play in Eastern European energy geopolitics.
First up, the Russia-friendly outlet Fort Russ, with the headline article, February 16:
Polish PM: Nord Stream II would make Russia free to act against Ukraine, so must not be built
February 16, 2018 - Fort Russ News -
- Novorosinform, translated by Tom Winter -
Poland opposes the construction of the Nord Stream II gas pipeline, because it considers it necessary to preserve Russia's dependence on gas transit through Ukraine, Prime Minister Mateusz Moravetski said on Polish Radio.Also from Fort Russ, this one dated January 29:
"First of all, this is a political issue and a question of big, serious threats that may arise in case Poland opposes the construction of the Nord Stream II gas pipeline, Prime Minister Mateusz Moravetski said on Polish Radio. [Cf. Angela Merkel's contrasting view]
According to him, Warsaw does not want Russia to be able to transport gas to Europe bypassing Ukraine.
In addition, Moravetsky, dependence on Ukrainian transit keeps Russia from "aggressive actions."
"In this regard, its aggressive actions in the Donbass, that is, in the eastern part of Ukraine, are held back to a certain extent by the risk of what would happen if something bad happened to the pipeline," he said.
Recall, yesterday Moravetsky said that the construction of Russia's "North Stream II" is a preparation for an attack on Ukraine. In addition, he expressed the opinion that "there is no economic meaning in the construction of the gas pipeline."
Also yesterday, February 15, it was reported that the Polish Law and Justice party is going to implement the Baltic Pipe project, which involves the construction of its own gas pipeline along the bottom of the Baltic Sea in protest against the construction of the Nord Stream II gas pipeline from Russia to Germany....MORE
Russia tells the constantly complaining Poland to source its own gas
"For Russia, it does not make sense to keep supplying Poland with gas", wrote Duma deputy Alexei Pushkov on his Twitter page.
President of Poland Andrzej Duda, during a discussion in Davos, said that Poland wants to buy Russian gas on the same terms as Germany.For some reason that headline reminds me of Hermann Goering's statement to the assembled Putschers at the Burgerbrau Keller that day in 1923: "Shut up. You've got your beer, haven't you?"
"Poland will play its games until Russia stops selling it gas entirely - get it from Africa, we don't care. There is no point in appeasing Warsaw," Pushkov wrote.
The Polish state-owned oil and gas company PGNiG buys most of its gas from Russia's Gazprom. The long-term contract with Russia expires in 2022....MORE
No connection of course, except in a crossed-neurons sort of way. It's probably that 'Constantly complaining' bit.
With that awkward segue, here's Bloomberg, February 16:
Merkel Defends Russian Gas Link Expansion Protested by Poland
German Chancellor Angela Merkel threw her country’s weight behind the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia, boosting the chances that the controversial link will become reality.Previously:
The project to boost the capacity of the pipeline has divided EU governments, with mostly eastern nations led by Poland concerned about the bloc’s increasing dependence on Russian gas and President Vladimir Putin’s meddling in Ukraine, which the link would bypass. It also has highlighted a split between lawyers on the appropriate legal regime for the pipeline.
Uniper SE, Engie SA, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, OMV AG and BASF SE’s Wintershall are European partners of Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom PJSC in the project to expand Nord Stream by 55 billion cubic meters a year, which would double its capacity to almost 30 percent of current EU demand. The new pipeline potentially deprives Ukraine and other nations including Slovakia and Poland of transit fees.
“We have different opinions on the topic of Nord Stream,” Merkel told reporters in Berlin after meeting Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. “We also want that Ukraine continues to have transit gas traffic but we believe Nord Stream poses no danger to diversification and should be seen under economic aspects.”
While Nord Stream 2 argues a new pipeline is needed to ensure safe supplies in the coming decades as EU import needs rise, opponents of the project say it hurts the bloc’s cohesion and weakens the bloc’s Energy Union strategy aimed at integrating the region’s gas and power markets, diversifying energy supplies and improving security.
The new German government is considering the nation’s first liquefied natural gas import terminal as part of efforts to boost diversification, following similar projects this decade by Lithuania and Poland.
“Poland has built an LNG terminal that was supported by the EU and a pipeline to Scandinavia is in planning and so we’re getting toward diversification,” Merkel said....MORE
"U.S., Poland Oppose Gas Pipeline Linking Russia And Germany"
The Nord Stream 2 Natural Gas Pipeline Is A Game Changer For Gazprom
Germany May Be Trying to Destabalize Poland But No Worries
New Russian Pipeline In Baltic Sea Could 'Collapse' Ukraine
EIA Natural Gas Weekly Update: Russian Exports to Western Europe
Putin, Russian Oligarchs Rattled By Rising Importance of EU Shale Gas
"Berlin, Moscow Negotiate New Trade Accord".
Feb. 12, 1940
"Poland's Plan to Dominate Europe"
Poland's Plan to Dominate Europe II
Poland's Plan To Dominate Europe, III: Here Comes China
Old School Polish Beer Wars