BiznesAlert EN https://biznesalert.com ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE ENVIRONMENT Mon, 18 Feb 2019 10:00:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.9 Warsaw Institute: U.S. permanent military base in Poland is a favorable solution for NATO https://biznesalert.com/warsaw-institute-us-permanent-military-base-poland/ https://biznesalert.com/warsaw-institute-us-permanent-military-base-poland/#respond Mon, 18 Feb 2019 10:00:21 +0000 http://biznesalert.com/?p=2997 This following report captures the idea of a permanent US base in Poland in the geopolitical context, along with its consequences for NATO and Central and Eastern Europe. This paper was supplemented with comments from experts from the United States, Lithuania and Romania to show a broader perspective on the creation of a U.S. permanent […]

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This following report captures the idea of a permanent US base in Poland in the geopolitical context, along with its consequences for NATO and Central and Eastern Europe. This paper was supplemented with comments from experts from the United States, Lithuania and Romania to show a broader perspective on the creation of a U.S. permanent military facility on Alliance’s Eastern Flank – Grzegorz Kuczyński, Director of Eurasia Program at Warsaw Institute and Krzysztof Kamiński, President of the Warsaw Institute.

A U.S. permanent military base in Poland will unquestionably contribute to the improvement of the security in the key European region while dramatically increasing the potential for deterring Russia and preventing Moscow from carrying out its hitherto activities. Not only does this translate into a greater protection of the territories of Poland and other countries of NATO’s eastern flank but also those of the entire continent as such undertaking results in a lower probability of an armed conflict. Militarily speaking, even a large U.S. unit is not capable of influencing the current balance of power whilst Russia will be granted a considerable advantage over the allied forces in all countries that would be most exposed to a potential conflict. Though, while envisaging the ongoing state of affairs, even the very presence of U.S. troops is perceived in terms of an important undertaking. Russia will not risk the death of American citizens, though; basically, a permanent U.S. presence will deter the Russians to the greater extent than a rotational one as the former is more resistant to any instances of political turmoil in Poland and the United States.

The idea of U.S. permanent military base in Poland is also advocated by Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Romania, and Ukraine, all of them being most at risk from Russian military aggression. Nonetheless, such countries as Russia and Belarus and most of the Western European states, including Germany, seem rather sceptical or even negative about the plan to establish any U.S. military headquarters Interestingly, the diving line between both supporters and opponents of the U.S. permanent base fairly coincides with the one observed in the case of the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.

Setting up a permanent military base would be of large geopolitical importance not only for Poland and its bilateral relations with the United States but it would also positively influence the situation in Central and Eastern Europe. In the context of current security ties, it is difficult to talk about purely bilateral cooperation whilst such an alliance should not be opposed to any initiatives taken at a multilateral level. The Polish-American agreement would not impede any NATO structures; quite the contrary, such a deal could potentially strengthen the alliance, complementing multilateral commitments of its allies. Here, two member states conclude a contract supposed to serve the same purpose as the aforementioned multilateral obligations (aiming to stop Russia’s military undertakings), even in spite of any objection from another state, as could be the case of Germany.

U.S. base will thus reinforce NATO’s eastern flank while providing the United States with both political and economic benefits. First of all, the U.S. permanent military base in Poland will unquestionably bolster the potential for deterring Russia. The fact of deploying land forces to the Polish territory will give a strong signal that the United States respects its allied commitments towards Poland and all European states. Located at the strategic point of NATO’s eastern flank, the permanent U.S. military base in Poland corroborates Washington’s commitments to the Alliance and the fact that NATO is perceived by the Americans as the most important means of ensuring security both for Europe as well as for themselves.

The U.S. Army facilities will undoubtedly boost NATO’s military capabilities against two major issues, including threats from Russia’s military grouping in the Kaliningrad Oblast as well as the need to safeguard the so-called Suwalki Corridor. The presence of an American brigade in the immediate vicinity of the latter will first enable the allied countries to hold the Russians in check with a threat in the Kaliningrad exclave while providing them with an opportunity to protect the only land connection between NATO member countries (including Poland) and the Baltic States.

Russia’s violent and hostile reaction to the project is not a surprise, though, neither are threats from politicians and experts that includes a possible nuclear attack. The U.S. base in Poland will neither provoke Russia to conduct any greater invasion against the West nor make it probable to expand the country’s military potential as such a decision had been made before. Some claim that the U.S. permanence presence in Poland is the violation of the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act (NRFA), yet it cannot be referred to as an obstacle to set up American facilities on Polish soil. First, Russia has breached the agreement by performing its own actions whilst the Alliance should inform Moscow that such a state of matter does not encompass the arrival of allied forces to Poland under their own flag, which could not take place under the auspices of NATO.

Even though the U.S. military facilities in Poland may exert an impact on the situation east of the borders of Poland and NATO, they might bring about a serious problem for Belarus. Yet Moscow gains a decisive argument allowing it to urge Lukashenko to let Russian troops enter the territory of Belarus. As illustrated by Russia’s policy, it will become clear that the Kremlin’s pressure to deploy its troops to Belarus may only intensify, regardless of whether any U.S. permanent base is eventually set up in Poland. Over the last few years, Belarus has not made any efforts to keep its political, economic or geostrategic distance from Russia. Lukashenko will therefore eventually agree to establish a Russian base in exchange for some economic concessions and promises of further support from Moscow. Speaking of U.S. permanent military base, it may turn out to be a good solution for Ukraine as the country is currently fighting a war against Russia – just like an increase in the American presence in this region of Europe. The constant U.S. presence in the vicinity of the Ukrainian border may additionally impede invasion plans prepared by Russian generals while Moscow is still considering various force scenarios, as exemplified by the recent tensions in the Sea of Azov.

Response to military aggression

For many years, it has been clear that all countries threatened by Russian aggression cannot be fully protected with allied documents, written promises of help or even the expansion of their own defense capabilities. Instead, their security seems best guaranteed by the constant presence of U.S. troops, the more so that Russia is not ruled by a madman who would go on a war with Washington. Any attack on the state where U.S. soldiers have been deployed would potentially serve as a casus belli for igniting an armed conflict. Russia will therefore not dare to attack American soldiers, being aware that such a move could lead to an open clash with the world superpower. The permanent U.S. military facilities are therefore equivalent to a significant reduction in the threat of an aggression as Poland could be then pushed out of Russia’s military reach.

This project constitutes a response to the situation in the west, as Russian President Vladimir Putin was the first one to make a move when expanding his country’s military capabilities in the vicinity of NATO’s borders. The U.S. base will be nothing more than just a response to the current state of affairs, referred to as a defensive step rather than an offensive one. All claims that the U.S. base in Poland will make Putin undertake more aggressive actions as well as develop Russia’s military forces on the western section do not seem particularly accurate as such expansion will take place anyway. The last few years have shown that both inaction and fear of taking some decisive measures make Moscow more prone to take intrusive steps. In addition, Russia has recently aggrandized its offensive military forces westwards. The fact of forming two armies in the western section, both of them fully armed with tanks and missile systems, may eventually lead to strengthening NATO’s defensive potential on its eastern flank.

Similarly, the key problem that underpins the Polish proposal cannot be addressed with significant improvement of logistics and transport capabilities in Eastern Europe that aims to increase the pace of NATO forces movement. As exemplified by Moscow’s hitherto policy, the Russians will start to treat seriously all allied and U.S. commitments to Poland and other countries of NATO’s eastern flank only when American troops are permanently deployed to Polish soil. Yet any promises to displace U.S. forces to Poland in the event of war encourage Russian decision-makers and generals to undertake some intruding measures as Moscow could potentially hope to impede the relief. Russian top officials would probably seek to achieve the goal by exerting political pressure or using military blackmail. Yet it is noteworthy that the Russians are likely to deploy tactical nuclear cargo somewhere on NATO’s eastern flank in order to intimidate Western political elites and public opinion.

The U.S base in Poland would change the military situation both on the NATO’s eastern flank as well as in the Eastern European region while indirectly bolstering Ukraine’s security. Russia is also aware of the fact that the military presence will directly translate into an increase in the U.S. economic and political potential in Poland as well as in the whole region, limiting the scope of Moscow’s ability to meddle with the non-military affairs of Central European countries. Similarly, setting up the U.S. military facilities in Poland, which would additionally strengthen NATO’s eastern flank, will not result in a stronger rapprochement between Moscow and its Chinese partner. This has been decided much earlier. Since 2012, that is the beginning of his previous presidential term, Putin attaches great importance to Russia’s close military cooperation with Beijing, the reason of which was to confront the United States as China’s military ally. It would be extremely naive to consider that the U.S. withdrawal from the idea of building a military base in Poland will make Moscow keep a greater distance from Beijing.

A more reliable ally

It cannot be said that Poland seeks to make the most of the American presence on its soil while the U.S. Army base is to be the only guarantee of the country’s internal and external security. Poles want and are able to defend their territory themselves. Speaking of defense matters, Poland primarily counts on its own capabilities, as illustrated by the state’s military expenditures, subsequent deals for the purchase of weapons as well as some other undertakings, including the creation of the territorial defense forces and the formation of large units on the country’s eastern border. Under the new government, the potential of the Polish army has increased from 100,000 to 130,000 troops on the active list whereas the figures are expected to reach 200,000 servicemen by the end of 2025. The Polish army is actively involved in the buying new weapons, including the recent acquisition of the Patriot missile system for 4.75 billion dollars. In addition, it has recently been possible to form the fourth division of the country’s land forces. Despite such a significant increase in its military potential, Poland is still in a much worse position in a possible clash with Russia. Therefore it does not come as a surprise that the country seeks to intensify its military efforts with the aid of its ally, backed by Warsaw on the occasion of various military missions. Yet such help did not provide Poland with any particular benefits, as evidenced by the example of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Facing such historical background, Poland has the right to expect reciprocal measures, the more so that all parties will eventually be provided by a number of substantial benefits.

Importantly enough, Poland’s political elites almost unanimously agree to establish a permanent U.S. base. Also, the majority of society is in favor of such a solution. Moscow is trying its utmost to emphasize that any actions undertaken by Poland’s government and the President do not enjoy strong support in the country. Even though if the statement of Andrzej Duda was criticized, it was rather about how the offer was presented to the public and not its substantial content. None of the major Polish politicians criticizes the creation of a permanent U.S. base in Poland. In its turn, the poll commissioned by Poland’s Defense Ministry found that 55 percent of Poles are currently in favor of setting up permanent U.S. military facilities in their homeland, believing that the constant presence of American troops will positively influence the country’s internal and external security. Only 27 percent of Polish citizens are against any U.S. military facilities while 4 percent claim that the permanent presence of American soldiers will lower the state’s protection (as opposed by 56 percent who responded in affirmative)[1]. Poland’s determination is best illustrated by the government’s offer to provide a financial aid of up to 2 billion dollars over 10 years to back the U.S. military presence in the country. Importantly, such sum would not force defense ministry officials to spend funds that had been previously allocated for upgrading military equipment.

German fears

Some of the Western European countries remain sceptical or even hostile to the plan of establishing a permanent U.S. military base in Poland. For instance, the group of the greatest opponents of the project involves Germany as Berlin is afraid of diminishing its influence in the region and weakening its stance towards the United States. Interestingly enough, the diving line between both supporters and opponents of the initiative base fairly coincides with the one observed in the case of the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.

The Germans fear of Russia’s reaction as the two countries has recently kept intensifying their mutual cooperation. At the same time, they do not intend to lose their hitherto privileges provided by the presence of U.S. military facilities. Therefore, Berlin objects the idea of an American base in Poland, regardless of whether it would be a unit deployed to the Polish territory from Germany or not. Germany refers to purported informal agreements inked with Russia in the 1990s, under which the West had committed not to deploy Allied bases in these countries while Moscow had raised no objections against the admission of Poland and the Baltic States to NATO structures. According to German opponents of the project, the countries do not dispose of adequate infrastructure, yet in fact, the criticism of new U.S. base derives also from Berlin’s ever-increasing belief that Europe should no longer fully rely upon the U.S. aid as it needs to develop its own military forces.

After the Second World War, U.S. military bases in Europe served two predominant purposes. First, they constituted a barrier against a possible Soviet offensive while, secondly, their ultimate aim was to stop Germany’s militarist ideas, which had previously led to the outbreak of great conflicts, two of which involved the engagement of the United States. Though the latter reason seems no longer valid as Berlin is currently outlining its most pacifist views in history, as evidenced by the recent measures undertaken by both German elites and society. The country is now willing to conduct the economic expansion even though it does not spend the demanded 2 percent of its GDP on defense expenditures. This ratio is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future, especially bearing in mind the attitude of German society and plans to take advantage of this fact by some politicians, with particular regard to those of left-wing political groups. Germany’s defense spending is among the lowest in Europe while the army’s operational readiness should not even be discussed in the following report. According to a poll, 42 percent of Germans say they want U.S. troops out of the country, compared with 37 percent who want[2] military personnel to stay. Only 40 percent of Germans are in favor of deploying their army in order to defend another European country against Russian aggression. In the United States and Poland, this indicator amounts to 62 percent.

Also, the first reason for the American presence on German soil has ceased to be valid. A potential frontline in the event of a NATO-Russia war runs far to the east of the German borders. The German sense of security is also due to the lack of a visible Russian threat, making Berlin the least keen to defend its eastern allies against Russian aggression. If the Russians sought to carry out an unexpected attack and seize control over the Baltic States, putting NATO in front of a fait accompli, they would be able to do it without much effort. Before any large U.S. unit would be dispatched from Germany to the front, it would be already too late to conduct any complimentary actions, also because the number of American forces in Germany is much smaller than it used to be, dropping to 35,000 from as much as 250,000 in 1985. So why would America need 35,000 servicemen in the country that would like to push them out of its borders and that keeps sealing deals for Russian gas supplies, thus making it dependent on Moscow’s aid?

Euro-Atlantic unity

However, the Americans need to take into account the opinion of both Berlin and other European capitals, also those being against ideas put forward by the Polish government as Warsaw’s initiative may introduce some changes to the NATO system. Critics have already pointed out that Washington-Warsaw bilateral agreement, which excludes the participation of other allies, may give a strong signal that the United States seeks to distance itself from maintaining a stable and uniform military bloc (critically assessed by President Donald Trump) while favoring bilateral alliances with the most loyal states. It is probable that Moscow will employ this tool to pose a threat to the “old” Europe while Poland may be ultimately depicted as a country that seeks further confrontation. When discussing the permanent U.S. base project, the Russians may intend to achieve their strategic goals, namely to soften the EU’s current stance on economic and political sanctions. In this context, any feasible Polish-American agreement could hardly come as a complete novelty as bilateral deals on deploying U.S. troops have already been signed by other NATO countries, including Norway and Greece. The former has recently negotiated an increase in the American contingent, which will also be the case in Germany. Therefore, all bilateral agreements and cooperation with the United States fit into the Alliance’s current scheme as the presence of U.S. troops has no intention to serve only one country, aiming rather to bolster NATO’s combat readiness. Notwithstanding that, the main purpose is to enhance the Alliance’s defense in Europe, as mentioned in the U.S. Senate report on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)[3]. The new project would be part of the wider process of expanding the American military presence in Poland. After all, the U.S. Army is currently involved in constructing an anti-missile defense system in the Polish town of Redzikowo. As many as 3,000 American troops are garrisoned in the western town of Zagan where they are being trained on a rotational basis as part of the armored brigade combat group. Almost 1,000 U.S. soldiers were deployed to Polish towns of Orzysz and Bemowo Piskie within the framework of a multinational NATO battalion program.

An increased presence of U.S. forces in Poland would result in greater credibility and effectiveness of NATO’s deterrence and defense missions on the Alliance’s eastern flank, constituting thus its integral part. This would aim to safeguard security in the region as well as protect the Alliance while bolstering its political coherence and military effectiveness. Not incidentally, the idea of the permanent U.S. presence in Poland was backed by Lithuanian Defense Minister Raimundas Karoblis, who stressed that such a step “would substantially enhance NATO’s deterrence and defense posture and is therefore very much in line with Lithuania’s security interests.” The states that later joined NATO structures do not want to be categorized as “second-class” member countries to which distinct security requirements apply. Unfortunately, some “first-category” states keep behaving as if they sought to maintain the hitherto state of affairs.

Poland’s proposal takes on a new importance in the light of the idea of forming a “European army”, put forward by French President Emmanuel Macron and backed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Interestingly, such a military unit could be founded regardless of all existing U.S.-European alliances. Bearing in mind the relations between some large Western European states – with particular regard to Germany – and Russia, and an ever-growing crisis between the so-called “Old Europe” and the United States, it comes as a surprise that Warsaw keeps recognizing its alliance with Washington as the most reliable manner to safeguard its security. So if it is to be allegedly recognized that an American military base may harm the unity of Euro-Atlantic defense, what the Macron’s idea can be referred to as? The U.S. military facilities aim to reinforce the Euro-Atlantic ties while the European army may contribute to their gradual impairment.

Poland’s attempts to protect the American military facilities, which translate into the actual shift of the NATO border a thousand kilometers to the east, seem to arouse concerns of some allies, who are afraid of exacerbating its ties with Moscow. Russia would consider the U.S. permanent base as a breach of the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act, though this has no major significance. It is not only due to the fact that Moscow was the first to violate the provisions of the deal, as illustrated by the statement of Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz, who claimed that “one cannot break what is already broken.” Furthermore, it is also because that the rotational presence of NATO troops in the countries of the former Eastern bloc was considered as a breach of the 1997 deal.

Some claim that the West, unlike Moscow, should not violate bilateral obligations while demonstrating its moral superiority. This makes neither political nor military sense, though, and will not change Russia’s approach, making Western countries less powerful and giving the Kremlin more reasons for taking any further intrusive steps. Still, there is no use in sticking to the rules of the games when the rival keeps disregarding them in an overt manner, in fact introducing its own principles. Most Western European states keep expressing the very same strong conviction, to a large extent rooted by Moscow’s agents of influence and probably dating back to the Cold War period, according to which one should not poke the Russian bear. Some pundits, political writers, and politicians consider the alleged fears of the Russians as much more important than the real needs of the allied nations of Eastern Europe that had been given to Stalin at the Yalta Conference, which resulted in many decades of the painful communist regime and Soviet domination.

More: Warsaw Institute

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Sakławski: All scenarios on energy prices are possible (INTERVIEW) https://biznesalert.com/saklawski-poland-bill-energy-prices-scenarios/ https://biznesalert.com/saklawski-poland-bill-energy-prices-scenarios/#respond Mon, 18 Feb 2019 09:00:58 +0000 http://biznesalert.com/?p=2989 By the end of March, an amendment to a statute aiming to stop energy bill prices from going up in 2019 is to be prepared. Jan Sakławski, legal counsel, partner of the Brysiewicz i Wspólnicy office, stated in an interview with z BiznesAlert.pl that now “all scenarios are possible.” BiznesAlert.pl: Minister of Energy Krzysztof Tchórzewski […]

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By the end of March, an amendment to a statute aiming to stop energy bill prices from going up in 2019 is to be prepared. Jan Sakławski, legal counsel, partner of the Brysiewicz i Wspólnicy office, stated in an interview with z BiznesAlert.pl that now “all scenarios are possible.”

BiznesAlert.pl: Minister of Energy Krzysztof Tchórzewski announced an urgent amendment to the Energy Price Act. He said that the act interfered too much with the rights of the Energy Regulatory Office. Is it really so?

Jan Sakławski: Yes, it is. The Energy Price Act, imposing some kind of muzzle on distribution system operators, virtually deprives the President of the Energy Regulatory Office (ERO) of the possibility to check what kinds of costs such enterprises incur and, in turn, what distribution tariffs are reasonable. The regulated nature of the energy market consisted in that the President of ERO checked reasonable operational costs of enterprises. Now, he cannot check whether the rates put forward by operators meet the statutory criteria for reasonable costs. The President of ERO has been set an upper price limit to which he must adapt. His discretionary power has been limited. After all, the President of ERO took into consideration guarantee of profit to these enterprises and the fact that they invest in infrastructure so they need means to do it. It is difficult for them to invest if their revenues are considerably limited. As a result, their statutory function becomes limited. On the other hand, if the regulator has no say because the price up to which they may allow operators to charge fees is blocked as a matter of statutory law, what is the regulator’s role in evaluating reasonable costs?

Tariff applications filed by companies last year in November are still waiting for the decision of President Bando. What can the President of ERO do in such a situation?

President Bando had some doubts as to the act even before work on it started. According to him, reasonable costs will have to be corrected. When the act entered into force, all he could do was turn to the legislator for urgent amendment to the act, which he did. The rights and obligations arising from the energy law, and indirectly from the directive concerning collective terms of the energy market, and the provisions of the Act amending the Excise Tax Act and other statutes contradicted one another. Basically, we had two legal regimes which the President of ERO was subject to. He had doubts as to which one to follow. To some extent, they oppose each other.

There is still one other aspect to tackle. Do you think that energy price compensations are state aid? Is it possible that it turns out to be prohibited?

Yes, it is. There are many concerns and doubts as to the compliance of such compensations with the EU law, related for instance with distribution fees. As a rule, state aid in the European Union is prohibited, but it is allowed under certain conditions. The government claims that the solution introduced by the act is not state aid. The first, fundamental question which Brussels will have to answer, and is probably in the process of doing so after talks with Poland, is: “is it state aid?” And if so, then: “is it allowed?” It is difficult to answer these questions without direct knowledge of the arguments of the European Commission. According to me, there is very high risk of recognising the introduced mechanisms as state aid. The government defends itself by saying that the act is not selective. It applies to all market players in the same way. Therefore, it does not distort competition on the market. Is it truly so? I have my doubts about it.

How does the uncertainty about the act impact the Polish market?

There is chaos in the field of price formation and it will not end until, firstly, the amendment takes effect and, secondly, a regulation is introduced indicating the weighted-average price of electric energy on the wholesale market and manner of its calculation. Therefore, we will not know what volume of compensations energy supply enterprises can count on under the act.

The amendment is to be ready by the end of March. What trade-offs will Poland have to agree to?

In my opinion, the interference will undoubtedly concern the rights of the regulator in terms of tariff shaping. The government will be eager to strengthen these rights. It is difficult to take a stance on the mechanism defined in the act as this is a solution so non-standard and innovative that all scenarios are possible. It seems that the act should put an end to using threshold values, that is the maximum level to which prices can be raised. It might be worth introducing additional criteria for the regulator that could allow them to adapt prices under the energy law so that they do not burden Poles too much. Nevertheless, this is coping with effects of some events on the energy market, not with their causes. I think that we will come back to this topic many a time.

Interview by Piotr Stępiński

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Polish Briefing: Revision of the gas directive will change the business conditions of Nord Stream 2 https://biznesalert.com/buzek-nord-stream-2-gas-directive/ https://biznesalert.com/buzek-nord-stream-2-gas-directive/#respond Mon, 18 Feb 2019 08:00:40 +0000 http://biznesalert.com/?p=2991 What goes on in Poland on the 18th of February. Buzek: The revision of the gas directive is a change in the business conditions of Nord Stream 2 BiznesAlert.pl asked Jerzy Buzek about the impact of the revised gas directive on Nord Stream 2. – The possibility that the EU gas law abruptly applies EU […]

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What goes on in Poland on the 18th of February.

Buzek: The revision of the gas directive is a change in the business conditions of Nord Stream 2

BiznesAlert.pl asked Jerzy Buzek about the impact of the revised gas directive on Nord Stream 2. – The possibility that the EU gas law abruptly applies EU law, transparent rules on third party access and ownership unbundling was not taken into account. This is a total change in business conditions – said Buzek.

– The Directive may in many cases hinder the construction or change of business rules, i.e. for a monopoly, to worsen the proceeds and profits from such an investment – admitted the head of the Committee for Research, Industry and Energy in the European Parliament.

– There has not been any provision regarding what conditions apply in coastal waters of member states – he said. Each gas pipeline built from a third country has individual arrangements so far. Now these conditions are to be harmonized. Existing pipelines need to be adapted ex-post – he admitted.

– In contrast, new gas pipelines must be subject to this law. In the case of this one gas pipeline, which you are asking for all the time, and the Directive is to concern all of them, not one, I suspect that the possibility that EU law, transparent rules on third party access suddenly applies to this gas pipeline and unbundling. This is a complete change in business conditions – said Buzek. – If the delivery side agrees, then no problem.

When will the gas directive come into force?

– I expect this directive to work in June. All gas pipelines completed after June this year, if everything goes according to plan, and there are no threats for this plan yet, then the pipelines that are not fully assembled are subject to this regulation. First you have to finish the gas pipeline, then you have to start it. Such a gas pipeline is launched for many months to fill it with gas – said the former prime minister.

– We have always negotiated delivery terms. However, it has never been said that EU law should be applied. The Member State currently negotiating the new gas pipeline can not negotiate anything else than the legal conditions of the European Union. If it is now negotiating, it is only within the legal system of the EU, namely the third energy package – said the conference host.

– If it is not possible, the European Commission takes over the negotiations. The Member State has no right to change the law in the European Union. If the German side is ready to negotiate, it can negotiate rules corresponding to the regulations of the European Union. The European Commission can say that it prefers to do it alone. Because authorization of negotiations and their result before signature depends on it – summed up Jerzy Buzek.

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The International Academic Conference “Security and Regulation of the Energy Market” under the patronage of BiznesAlert.pl https://biznesalert.com/the-international-academic-conference-security-and-regulation-of-the-energy-market-under-the-patronage-of-biznesalert-pl/ https://biznesalert.com/the-international-academic-conference-security-and-regulation-of-the-energy-market-under-the-patronage-of-biznesalert-pl/#respond Fri, 15 Feb 2019 13:38:54 +0000 http://biznesalert.com/?p=2984 The Department of European Economic Law and the Society of Energy Law and Other Infrastructure Sectors of the Faculty of Law and Administration at the University of Lodz along with the University of Economics in Katowice and the Polish Foundation of Competition Law and Sector Regulation Ius Publicum invite everyone to the International Academic Conference […]

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The Department of European Economic Law and the Society of Energy Law and Other Infrastructure Sectors of the Faculty of Law and Administration at the University of Lodz along with the University of Economics in Katowice and the Polish Foundation of Competition Law and Sector Regulation Ius Publicum invite everyone to the International Academic Conference “Security and Regulation of the Energy Market”. The Conference will be held on 23–24 May 2019 at the Faculty of Law and Administration of the University of Lodz (Lodz, 8/12 Kopcińskiego Street).

The conference will be attended by undisputable energy law experts from european academic centres (e.g. Houston, Milan, Bologna, Rome, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee, Hull, Brussels) and outstanding practitioners related to the energy sector, including Clara Poletti (the Chair of the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER), Commissioner at the Regulatory Authority for Energy Networks and the Environment (ARERA) in Italy).

The aim of the Conference is to analyse the processes that take place in the European energy sector, to exchange views and experience between academic, administrative and business representatives. The changes in the energy law and the challenges of the modern world are the incentives for an international debate on the current and future state of the sector. The Conference will help to identify the current trends and the directions of progress related to the security and regulation of the energy market.

More information is available on the website: www.wpia.uni.lodz.pl

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Orlen will buy 150 fast chargers. ABB will be among the suppliers https://biznesalert.com/pkn-orlen-fast-chargers-abb/ https://biznesalert.com/pkn-orlen-fast-chargers-abb/#respond Fri, 15 Feb 2019 10:00:19 +0000 http://biznesalert.com/?p=2980 PKN ORLEN has signed a general agreement for the supply of ABB’s next generation DC fast charging stations for electric cars – Terra 54. The order is part of a project, which will see the installation of 150 fast charging stations for EVs located on selected transit routes across Poland and within its largest cities. […]

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PKN ORLEN has signed a general agreement for the supply of ABB’s next generation DC fast charging stations for electric cars – Terra 54.

The order is part of a project, which will see the installation of 150 fast charging stations for EVs located on selected transit routes across Poland and within its largest cities. Under the agreement, ABB is to supply its latest multi-standard fast charger, Terra 54 – the successor to the world’s best-selling model, Terra 53.

The scope includes design, installation and commissioning, as well as complete signage and approvals. PKN ORLEN announced that in phase one, which will be completed by the end of 2019, approximately 50 fast-charging stations from three chosen suppliers, will be in operation.

“What makes the contract stand out from the previous projects of this type is the fact that it covers a wide range of maintenance services tailored to the individual requirements of the customer, as well as availability of constant technical support,” said Frank Muehlon, Managing Director for electric vehicle charging infrastructure at ABB. “At ABB we constantly invest in ensuring proper maintenance of our devices and in the highest comfort and convenience for the end user,” he added.

The petrol stations will receive Terra 54 chargers with power of 50 kW, which are able to charge a vehicle’s battery within 20-30 minutes (in case of direct current charging).

The charger is triple-system, which means that it supports all the most popular types of adapters in Europe: CHAdeMO, CCS, Type 2 and is compatible with any EV.

Terra 54 is based on the world’s most popular Terra charger platform. ABB, however, has introduced a newer, upgraded version to meet users’ expectations and to adapt the model to future technical requirements that the European Union is planning to implement. The new model boasts a number of new and improved features such as brighter user displays (for clearer readability in direct sunlight) with more flexible customization options, and optional CCV or Nayax payment terminals for use across different countries. Terra 54 also sees the introduction of upgraded payment functionality, which means users only pay for the kWhs used.

Other new features on Terra 54 chargers include: better handling and more stable connector holders for all cable types; upgraded power electronics for improved reliability and long-term component availability; improved accessibility for service engineers. The chargers are also prepared for smart charging profiles and site load management.

The Terra 54 also offer the additional benefit of ABB Ability™ connected services, the company’s advanced digital management solution. An ethernet-based interface seamlessly integrates with local applications for power management and charger status monitoring. Chargers can be connected to back offices, payment platforms or smart grids systems while remote diagnostics, repair and over-the-air software updates minimize downtime and keeps running costs low.

“Today the vast majority of electric cars travelling on the roads of Europe and around the world are adapted to use chargers with a maximum power of 50 kW. Investment in charging infrastructure is therefore necessary to ensure that drivers can travel freely and comfortably, and to promote new e-mobility technologies,” said Frank Muehlon. “Of course, there are also vehicles that may already require a higher charging capacity. In Switzerland, we have equipped a station with Terra High Power 350 kW super-fast chargers. We hope that over time similar solutions will become popular in Poland and see this agreement as the first sign that the e-mobility sector in Poland is maturing and developing in the right direction,” concluded Muehlon.

As the world leader in electric vehicle infrastructure, ABB offers the full range of charging solutions for electric cars, electric and hybrid buses as well as electrification solutions for ships and railways. ABB entered the EV-charging market back in 2010, and today has a fast growing global installed base of 8,000 ABB DC chargers, including high power chargers up to 350 kW, installed across 68 countries, more chargers than any other manufacturer.

PKN Orlen

Artykuł Orlen will buy 150 fast chargers. ABB will be among the suppliers pochodzi z serwisu BiznesAlert EN.

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Kowal: Nord Stream 2 in Goral https://biznesalert.com/pawel-kowal-nord-stream-2/ https://biznesalert.com/pawel-kowal-nord-stream-2/#respond Fri, 15 Feb 2019 09:00:04 +0000 http://biznesalert.com/?p=2978 Nord Stream 2 is the stumbling block of European integration. People look at it as a test that tells us something about the real intentions of European countries. There are of course many matters on the basis of which it is possible to investigate whether the integrators today are honest: in many cases the test […]

Artykuł Kowal: Nord Stream 2 in Goral pochodzi z serwisu BiznesAlert EN.

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Nord Stream 2 is the stumbling block of European integration. People look at it as a test that tells us something about the real intentions of European countries. There are of course many matters on the basis of which it is possible to investigate whether the integrators today are honest: in many cases the test would probably go very well, but the Nord Stream pipeline can not be missed in this discussion. The EU must make this attempt and in the meantime the effect of this attempt may be weak – writes Paweł Kowal, a former deputy minister of foreign affairs, a historian.

We have, therefore, “translating into Goral” this story: the European Commission is making a proposal to solve a problem in the spirit of the Treaty of Lisbon, the matter is obvious and in the European interest. By the way, interests of Ukraine, EU’s most important ally in the East, are on the table. This is also the question of the EU’s reputation and even of the West as a whole in the game with Russia, and the opportunity to check Washington’s intention that declares the fight against the Nord Stream 2 concept. It would be an excellent opportunity to strengthen the Euro-Atlantic Alliance on energy security. In the meantime, a mechanism of French-German consultations is being launched, that is, the spirit of the Élysée Treaty that was recently completed in Aachen is revived. Here is the power of politics. How many comments were there in Poland that the Aachen Treaty was a list of wishful thinking, and yet the principle of close consultation of each case worked, and perhaps at the back we still have Russian lobbying for one of the sides. As Poland, during the vote on the gas directive, we achieved a Pyrrhic victory – the concessions made to other members of the Union were insignificant in relation to the strength of the French-German iron ties. It was only the intervention of the European Parliament in the trilogue that improved the records and showed who in Europe can be counted on.

The whole problem is to draw the right conclusions now. Donald Tusk in Aachen may have been right when, last time during the ceremony, as the head of the European Council, he spoke in Polish, warning the signatories of the new act that France and Germany are not everything. Or maybe Elmar Brok, an old fox of European politics, is right, who observes in one of the farewell interviews before leaving Poland on the side and puts the matter like this: Poland should be a signatory in Aachen. Perhaps instead of criticizing the integration process, it is better to include it even more by forcing us to be involved in the process of political consultations, also based on the additional obligations of states? Maybe the old timer is right? Perhaps it is that there is a critical mass of Poland’s connections in the EU, after which we will no longer be able to sleep us away from the West not for love nor money. One thing is for sure. Lack of the Union or relying only on the US is no cure for the troubles with the gas pipeline. In the first case, nobody would even consider a conversation with us, in the other one it is obvious that the Americans would somehow communicate with the Germans there. This is called realism.

Artykuł Kowal: Nord Stream 2 in Goral pochodzi z serwisu BiznesAlert EN.

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Polish Briefing: Gas directive to be investigated, Nord Stream 2 to be blocked https://biznesalert.com/zdzislaw-krasnodebski-gas-directive/ https://biznesalert.com/zdzislaw-krasnodebski-gas-directive/#respond Fri, 15 Feb 2019 08:00:52 +0000 http://biznesalert.com/?p=2982 What goes on in Poland on the 15th of February. Krasnodębski: Gas directive to be investigated, Nord Stream 2 to be blocked Last Friday, the Council suddenly accelerated the work on the gas directive. After almost a year of silence from the Member States, the Romanian Presidency decided to return to this issue. The common […]

Artykuł Polish Briefing: Gas directive to be investigated, Nord Stream 2 to be blocked pochodzi z serwisu BiznesAlert EN.

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What goes on in Poland on the 15th of February.

Krasnodębski: Gas directive to be investigated, Nord Stream 2 to be blocked

Last Friday, the Council suddenly accelerated the work on the gas directive. After almost a year of silence from the Member States, the Romanian Presidency decided to return to this issue. The common position of the Member State was adopted almost at the last moment, which provided an opportunity for the adoption of this directive by the European Parliament in this term – writes prof. Zdzisław Krasnodębski, Member of the European Parliament of European Conservatives and Reformists for BiznesAlert.pl.

Incomplete success

Therefore, the parliamentary team responsible for negotiations with the Council had to join them immediately, practically overnight. As a counter-rapporteur, I was in this framework on behalf of my political group – the European Conservatives and Reformers – writes the MEP.

From the beginning of the work on the amendment of the gas directive, I have sought to introduce such legal restrictions for new gas pipelines so that installations inconsistent with the law in force in the EU can not be created, as well as the principle of solidarity in energy and international policy. Among my amendments, Parliament’s position included a provision on third countries subject to economic sanctions, whose infrastructure projects could not count on temporary exemptions from certain EU requirements – he writes.

The agreement reached in negotiations with the Council and the Commission assumes that the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline will be subject to the third energy package, including in particular the obligation to separate transmission activities from the production and supply of raw materials. This is indeed a significant step forward, because until now such projects have not been regulated by Community regulations as opposed to intra-EU installations.

However, it has not been possible to fully ensure greater supervision of the European Commission over derogations from the application of the provisions that are granted to existing gas pipelines. We can not be sure that the currently emerging NS2 will not be recognized in this framework as already existing – unfortunately, the directive does not specify precisely the moment when the project becomes “existing”.

In addition, the compromise reached was based on the assumption that only the country in which the gas pipeline ends (Germany in the case of Nord Stream 2) is entitled to apply for possible exemptions, EU derogations or even negotiate an intergovernmental agreement with a third country. The original project, which we defended, also assumed the participation of other states providing their territorial waters at sea, and even only the exclusive economic zones for the underwater transmission connection – believes Krasnodębski.

For this reason, and in connection with the general assessment that the agreement is mainly in the mind of the Council and does not cover many of Parliament’s important demands, I could not sign it under negotiations – sums up the MEP.

Artykuł Polish Briefing: Gas directive to be investigated, Nord Stream 2 to be blocked pochodzi z serwisu BiznesAlert EN.

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Eleventh LNG spot delivery for PGNiG arrived in Świnoujście https://biznesalert.com/pgnig-lng-spot-delivery/ https://biznesalert.com/pgnig-lng-spot-delivery/#respond Thu, 14 Feb 2019 10:00:14 +0000 http://biznesalert.com/?p=2963 The methane carrier Flex Rainbow transports about 64 thousand tonnes of liquefied natural gas from Sabine Pass, USA. The cargo was purchased as part of a spot transaction. This is the fifth delivery this year so far – three came from the US and two from Qatar. On Tuesday, February 12th, PGNiG Polish Oil and […]

Artykuł Eleventh LNG spot delivery for PGNiG arrived in Świnoujście pochodzi z serwisu BiznesAlert EN.

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The methane carrier Flex Rainbow transports about 64 thousand tonnes of liquefied natural gas from Sabine Pass, USA. The cargo was purchased as part of a spot transaction. This is the fifth delivery this year so far – three came from the US and two from Qatar.

On Tuesday, February 12th, PGNiG Polish Oil and Gas Company will receive another cargo of liquefied natural gas at the LNG Terminal President Lech Kaczyński in Świnoujście. After regasification the supply equals to approx. 90 million cubic meters of natural gas. The cargo was purchased as a spot transaction (a single delivery contract) from Centrica.

“The cargo, which arrives on February 12th, is the third spot delivery this year already, and the eleventh of this type since launching of the terminal in Świnoujście. Spot contracts are the result of the work of our trading team working in London, which analyzes the situation on the global market and forecasts a further increase in the number of favorable offers for LNG supplies”, said Maciej Woźniak, Vice President of the Management Board of PGNiG SA.

PGNiG SA imports liquefied natural gas to Poland from Qatar, Norway and the USA on the basis of agreements with Qatargas and Centrica, as well as on the basis of spot contracts. This year, regular LNG deliveries from the USA will begin on the basis of a long-term contract with Cheniere Energy – one of four contracts signed by PGNiG with American partners in 2018.

The next LNG delivery to Świnoujście is scheduled for March 10th. The load will come to Poland as part of a long-term contract with Qatargas.

PGNiG

Artykuł Eleventh LNG spot delivery for PGNiG arrived in Świnoujście pochodzi z serwisu BiznesAlert EN.

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Duda: Binding decisions on increased US military presence soon https://biznesalert.com/duda-mike-pence-summit-warsaw/ https://biznesalert.com/duda-mike-pence-summit-warsaw/#respond Thu, 14 Feb 2019 09:00:57 +0000 http://biznesalert.com/?p=2975 President Andrzej Duda speaking after Warsaw Wednesday talks with US Vice-President Mike Pence said that first binding decisions on increasing US military presence in Poland should be expected soon. “I hope that our joint efforts aimed at increasing the presence of U.S. Armed Forces in Poland are going to bring effects soon. In the nearest […]

Artykuł Duda: Binding decisions on increased US military presence soon pochodzi z serwisu BiznesAlert EN.

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President Andrzej Duda speaking after Warsaw Wednesday talks with US Vice-President Mike Pence said that first binding decisions on increasing US military presence in Poland should be expected soon.

“I hope that our joint efforts aimed at increasing the presence of U.S. Armed Forces in Poland are going to bring effects soon. In the nearest future, first, planning decisions are going to be taken in this respect. This is what we should expect,” President Duda told a joint press conference following the talks.

Andrzej Duda said that one of the topics discussed during the meeting with Mike Pence was energy cooperation. “Energy cooperation is a very important subject in our mutual relations, today we have signed a number of contracts for the import of liquefied gas to our terminal in Świnoujście, said the President who added work is underway to increase the terminal’s capacity to over 7 billion cubic meters of gas per year.

The talks also concerned the development of a network of gas connectors in this part of Europe, as well as energy security regarding electricity. During the talks, the President signalled March talks to be held in the US by Minister Piotr Naimski, the Polish government’s commissioner for strategic energy infrastructure with US Energy Secretary Rick Perry. “The talks will focus on cyber security and cooperation covering gas and electricity energy,” said Andrzej Duda.

Andrzej Duda and Mike Pence also referred to Polish-US general business cooperation. “Right now, Poland is developing at a good pace, economic results were better than we expected, better than the analysts predicted, including those representing various world agencies, so the situation is very good” said the Polish President.

Vice-President Mike Pence on his part noted that thanks to close Polish-US cooperation, relations between the United States and Poland are stronger than ever.

“Our countries are friends because we share the same values — a point that you and I reflected on in all of our conversations today. And in a world that’s growing more unpredictable — and, in many ways, more dangerous since the fall of the Soviet Union — our alliance has grown more vital and more important than ever before. That’s why, as you and I just discussed, our countries are working more closely together on a wide range of issues, and we will continue to. And thanks to your leadership, Mr. President, and that of President Trump, today the United States–Poland alliance is stronger than ever before, stressed the Vice-President.

Noting that in the last two years, both countries have made unprecedented investments in common defence and “shown the world that our commitment to the NATO Alliance is unwavering,” Pence stressed that “Poland is one of only eight NATO allies who currently meet the commitment to spend at least 2 percent of your gross domestic product on defence (…) and now, our two countries are discussing the parameters for increased United States military presence in Poland. And I’ll be carrying back your strong convictions regarding that to President Trump and to our leaders in the Defence Department when I return to the United States,” assured Mike Pence.

The Vice-President noted the importance of both countries’ economic security and Polish-US dialogue on energy which is to ensure “that neither of our countries, nor any country in Europe, becomes dependent on Russia for its energy needs.” He added that since last October, Poland has signed three separate agreements with US energy companies, which, in four years’ time, will allow Poland to import more than 7 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year.

“Now we look forward to working with you as you develop other energy sources, including nuclear power, as we discussed today. And President Trump and I, and our administration, are truly grateful for your bold stand in opposition to Nord Stream 2,” stressed Mike Pence.

The US official also noted that his country welcomes Poland’s partnership “as we work to protect the telecommunications sector from China. The recent action that your government has taken against a Huawei executive and a Polish national accused of cooperating with him demonstrate your government’s commitment to ensure our telecommunications sector is not compromised in a way that threatens our national security,” said Mike Pence.

The Vice-President went on to say that the US also “stands behind Poland as it has stepped up and taken a leadership role as well in the Three Seas Initiative. As President Trump said not long ago, ‘with the expanded trade and new infrastructure’ between our two countries, we (can) unleash incredible energy innovation that’s safe, responsible, and environmentally friendly.

“And these actions, the relationship between our two nations, will continue to grow stronger, and the future of security in Europe will grow brighter,” stressed the US Vice-President.

He added that in recent years, “Poland has become one of our most crucial allies and a major player in world affairs. Poland sent one of the largest contingents of troops to our allied operations in Iraq and was a valued member of our 79-partner-strong coalition to defeat ISIS.” “This week, Poland is taking another leading role of worldwide significance, Mr. President, as your nation hosts the very first-ever ‘Ministerial to Promote a Future of Peace and Security in the Middle East’,” concluded the Vice-President.

Polish Press Agency

Artykuł Duda: Binding decisions on increased US military presence soon pochodzi z serwisu BiznesAlert EN.

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Polish Briefing: The gas directive strengthened the EC and weakened Germany about Nord Stream 2 https://biznesalert.com/gas-directive-ec-germany-nord-stream-2/ https://biznesalert.com/gas-directive-ec-germany-nord-stream-2/#respond Thu, 14 Feb 2019 08:00:03 +0000 http://biznesalert.com/?p=2972 What goes on in Poland on the 14th of February. Ministry of Energy: The gas directive strengthened the EC and weakened Germany about Nord Stream 2 From the position of the Ministry of Energy which we reached, it appears that Poland assesses the outcome of negotiations on the revision of the gas directive well by […]

Artykuł Polish Briefing: The gas directive strengthened the EC and weakened Germany about Nord Stream 2 pochodzi z serwisu BiznesAlert EN.

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What goes on in Poland on the 14th of February.

Ministry of Energy: The gas directive strengthened the EC and weakened Germany about Nord Stream 2

From the position of the Ministry of Energy which we reached, it appears that Poland assesses the outcome of negotiations on the revision of the gas directive well by strengthening the role of the Commission. If, however, Nord Stream 2 is excluded, the case may end in court.

– During the trilouge, the supervision of the European Commission over Nord Stream 2 and the process of implementing EU law with regard to submarine pipelines has been strengthened. Thanks to this, in practice, despite the German-French attempt to narrow the application of EU law to the territory of a Member State and its territorial waters through which offshore gas pipelines run, EU law will be applied throughout the entire length of this gas pipeline – reads the document of the Ministry of Energy.

– The agreement of the Council, Parliament and the Commission, the allows for applying to the pipelines from third countries the most important pillars of EU law, i.e. appointing an independent operator that will supervise the tariffs, transparency of gas pipeline construction costs and gas prices – summarizes the ministry.

– The obligation arising from the new regulations is to conclude an intergovernmental agreement that will guarantee full application of EU law on the entire length of the gas pipeline and will be concluded with the consent of the EC. Until such an agreement comes into force, the project can not be admitted to commercial exploitation – explains the ministry. – It should be emphasized that disagreement over the directive would mean a legal vacuum, which would mean further privileging new gas pipelines from Russia. In practice, the lack of a directive would mean tacit consent/silent consent for the implementation of NS2 without EC supervision.

– The project developed in the Council has been supplemented in with the mechanisms guaranteeing the strengthening of supervision over the implementation of EU law on Nord Stream 2 and preventing freedom in shaping the regulatory environment for the gas pipeline through Germany – assesses the Ministry of Energy.

– EU law must be respected by the Member States. The regulations provide for the fundamental role of the EC in enforcing compliance with the law, granting it strong tools to supervise and influence the compliance of gas pipelines with the EU acquis – reads the interpretation of the Ministry of Energy. – The Commission will have to negotiate an agreement with Russia on Nord Stream 2. It is only possible to assign this competence to Germany if it considers that it will not jeopardize the energy security and the EU internal market. Parliament has made sure to further strengthen the role of the Commission in the negotiation and conclusion of intergovernmental agreements.

– We can not imagine a situation in which the EU institutions would agree to concessions and privileged Nord Stream 2. We will control it on an ongoing basis – concludes the ministry. All decisions of the European Commission can be appealed to the Court of Justice of the European Union, as BiznesAlert.pl wrote.

It should be emphasized that the above document is an interpretation of the Ministry of Energy, while the official text of the revision of the trialogue, which is still being written, is still not published.

Artykuł Polish Briefing: The gas directive strengthened the EC and weakened Germany about Nord Stream 2 pochodzi z serwisu BiznesAlert EN.

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