Polish Briefing 14 June, 2017 9:00 am   
Editorial staff

Polish Briefing: Procedure against Poland. Trump will visit Three Seas Summit

What goes in Poland on 14th of June.

EC for Nord Stream 2 mild negotiations

Today the European Commission was supposed to ask EU states for a mandate to negotiate with Russia the terms of Nord Stream 2 construction; however, this had happened already last Friday and Poland was the only opposing country.

The gas pipeline, which will transmit Russian gas to Germany will cost EUR 9.5 billion. Half of the credit will be ensured by European companies: France’s Engie, the Netherland’s Royal Dutch Shell, Germany’s Uniper and Winthershall and Austria’s OMV.

“There is no unanimity within the EC, the final days will be decisive,” said our interviewers a few days ago in Brussels. They argued that not all commissioners believed in Jean-Claude Juncker’s assertions that Nord Stream 2 was just an economic project, not a political one. They were wrong.

The President of the European Council, Donald Tusk added fuel to the fire earlier, when he unequivocally stated that the Russian gas pipe will be bad for the entire EU. In his letter to Juncker revealed by The Financial Times, Tusk stated: ” “It will allow [Russia] to close down the transit route through Ukraine, leaving our partners at Russia’s mercy, while its aggression has not ended (…) it will make us more dependent on Russian supplies and it will concentrate gas transit along the existing route. Also, it will strengthen Gazprom’s position as the EU’s dominant gas supplier.” This didn’t help either.

Last Friday, the EC quietly adopted, without any discussions, its position on the controversial pipeline by 27 votes to 1. Only the Polish Commissioner, Elżbieta Bieńkowska, voted against; while Romania’s objection was submitted too late. The coalition that Poland was hoping for, i.e. among others Baltic States did not submit an objection.

Trump will visit Poland. Waszczykowski gave some details.

A personal meeting with Andrzej Duda, a public speech for Poles, talks with leaders of the Three Seas Initiative – this is how Donald Trump’s visit in Poland will look like. According to Witold Waszczykowski, Polish Foreign Minister, Trump will arrive to Poland in the late evening on 5 July. The White House confirmed last Friday that President Trump would visit Poland on 6 July before the G20 summit in Germany. The visit will take place upon President Andrzej Duda’s invitation.

“The visit is only being prepared,” Waszczykowski stated. “Today I can only say that we are assuming President Trump will arrive in Poland on 5 July, late in the evening and the whole program will take place on the 6th until early afternoon,” he added.

He also informed that as part of the visit, Donald Trump will meet with Andrzej Duda. “I am sure there will be personal meetings between the presidents, as well as plenary meetings, President Trump will be accompanied by a delegation – we expect it to be – the secretary of defense, perhaps secretaries of state, perhaps the chief of the National Security Agency. If so, it will be a meeting in a wider format,” he stressed.

Procedure against Poland

“The European Commission launched a legal case on Tuesday against Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic for refusing to take in asylum seekers,” Reuters reported.

Reuters stated this information came from its EU sources. This is about the relocation program adopted in autumn 2015.

The EC’s spokesman Alexander Winterstein stated that on Wednesday the EC would decide about launching the infringement procedures against the countries that did not take part in relocation.

Poland will build a section of the Baltic Pipe

Secretary of State at the Chancellery of the Prime Minister, Piotr Naimski, stated that Poland is on the path to break up Russia’s monopoly on energy supply. “The Polish gas transmission system operator, Gaz-System will be responsible for constructing a section of the Baltic Pipe at the sea’s bottom”, informed Naimski, the Government Plenipotentiary for Strategic Energy Infrastructure.

He also stated that the meeting of the Three Seas Initiative in Warsaw at the beginning of July, is one of the elements of Poland’s energy policy. The meeting will be accompanied by Donald Trump’s visit. In Naimski’s opinion this shows that the strategy of making CEE relevant within the EU is successful.

Naimski added that Poland, which is striving to break up Russia’s energy monopoly, should get ready for possible retaliation from Moscow, which may entail hacker attacks. A few days ago Poland signed with Denmark a memorandum on building the Baltic Pipe. It will provide Poland with access to the blue fuel from the Norwegian Continental Shelf and its transport to CEE. According to Gaz-System, the Baltic Pipe may be launched already in 2022.