Polish foreign policy can not be reduced to the dispute over Nord Stream 2. German policy can not reduce the view of this project only to the business perspective. Poland and Germany will cooperate in the European Union and NATO regardless of the fate of the project, but it can significantly affect the condition of these institutions – says Wojciech Jakóbik, editor-in-chief of BiznesAlert.pl.
Problem for Poland
From the point of view of the North Atlantic Alliance, everything is interconnected. At Kyiv Security Forum, deputy NATO secretary general Rose Gottemoeller equated cyber attacks, misinformation, attempts to interfere in elections and the use of chemical weapons with attacks on energy security of the Alliance. – We must defend ourselves against attacks, defend our energy security in order to repel the dominance of any single actor, like Gazprom – the Forum participant appealed. NATO strategists, as well as the services of the member states, perceive Nord Stream 2, a gas pipeline from Russia to Germany across the Baltic Sea, as a security and foreign policy problem. Although Denmark may block a section of the gas pipeline from similar land from its own territory, its talks with Germany suggest that it will not want to become a “brake”. NATO is defenseless against the political will of one of the allied countries, which wants to make money from cheap gas from Russia.
Problem for Germany
Although German Chancellor Angela Merkel admits that the project has a “political aspect”, it nevertheless defends the right of companies, including German, to carry out this undertaking. Poland failed to convince her of a political perspective, although she threatened that Nord Stream 2 could encourage the Russians to continue their aggression in Ukraine. At Kyiv Security Forum, representatives of Kiev warned the West in a similar tone. It looks like the project will be difficult to block – as I have said many times, including in the Polish Press Agency – although some hopes for its delay give works on the EU gas directive. However, there is a risk that the new regulations will take into account the loophole for Nord Stream 2.
The declaration of Merkel on the will to maintain supplies through Ukraine is only a smokescreen and a guarantee uncertain in the light of the systematic breaking of Russia’s agreements with the illegal annexation of Crimea. The dispute over Nord Stream 2 can not, however, obscure Poland to a number of topics in which it can and should cooperate with Germany.
A problem for Europe
However, the business interests of several German companies involved in it can not obscure the political context of Berlin. Nord Stream 2 will work like Brexit, undermine the already undermined confidence of some Europeans to European integration, and will contribute to the deepening of Europe’s identity crisis. It will be Germany’s fault. In the face of growing tensions in relations with Russia, they will take responsibility for the possible prolongation of Gazprom’s pathologies in Central and Eastern Europe, which Nord Stream 2 will be probable by the risk of a gas cartel. Documents disclosed by BiznesAlert.pl show that Gazprom has blackmailed Ukraine, but also European Union countries – Bulgaria, the Baltic States and Poland. Nevertheless, it is in Poland’s interest to continue European integration and the binding of German interests within the European organism.
It is worth remembering that without the European Commission it would be even worse, and we probably would not have the right to vote in the Nord Stream 2 case. The Commission can not effectively defend the interests of the Member States because it probably has too little competence. This is the vote for the reform of the European Union. Poles can take part in discussions on this subject. Poland can not reduce relations from Germany to Nord Stream 2 and it is good that it does not make bilateral relations conditional on a dispute over this project. Germany can not reduce the problem of a new gas pipeline from Russia to clean business. Both policies are wrong. One should be aware of the reductio ad Nord Stream 2. There is still a chance that the pressure against this project will affect the Germans. The new US sanctions included, inter alia, the president of the Russian Gazprom. If it is impossible to block the project, it may be worth to put all costs into the Russian monopoly, which can stay alone with this bus.