The occupation of Crimea is continuing and it does not stand in German’s way to not to open a Mercedes factory in Russia and not to call for a dialogue with the regime of Vladimir Putin. Poland must do its bit, writes Wojciech Jakóbik, editor-in-chief of BiznesAlert.pl.
On Tuesday,April 2, the first Mercedes passenger car factory opening ceremony was held in Russia. The ceremony was attended by the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, who signed on one of the cars. The factory was called Moskowia.
German Daimler built it about 50 km from Moscow in 2017, investing in it over 250 million euros. The factory is to hire a thousand employees and will produce 25,000 cars a year. The ceremony was also attended by the German Minister of Economy and Energy Peter Altmaier. – Prosperity in Russia is in the interest of a prosperous Germany, he assured.
The German government has no problem with Russia’s economic interdependence. In his speech at the American Council for Germany (ACG), German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass calmed down that there is no risk of dependence. In this context, he mentioned the questionable Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
– I would like to rise to all haunting comments we can hear about the pipeline and put things very clear. Nord Stream 2 will not make Germany dependent on Russia. We have alternative delivery routes. Last week our government decided to improve the conditions for the development of LNG infrastructure. We cooperate with the European Union in order to provide guarantees for the gas supply route through Ukraine, he listed, somehow resisting the critique towards Nord Stream 2 occurring in Poland and other countries that are afraid of Germany-Russia economic cooperation’s leverage on politics.
Maas also referred to US sanctions against Nord Stream 2 partners. According to him, sanctions should have a clear political objective, be reversible and well targeted. – We cannot accept sanctions that do not meet the criteria and which will hit our partners more than Russia, he roared. – All criticism towards Russia does not mean that we do not need a dialogue. Dialogue is needed to manage these difficult relations and to avoid unwanted escalation – he said.
– From different angles isolation of Russia could be dangerous and It is not in our interest to make Moscow angry, concluded the Minister.
So it looks like Berlin will maintain close economic relations with Moscow despite the persistent tension in relations between the transatlantic community and Russia. Poland may establish similar relations with Germany as Russia did, which can be exemplified by the joint initiatives of Altmaier and the Polish Minister of Entrepreneurship and Technology Jadwiga Emilewicz. Our country can also employ cooperation with the European Commission to control investments like Nord Stream 2.
Committee on Industry, Research and Energy of the European Parliament (ITRE), chaired by prof. Jerzy Buzek will deal with the draft of the gas directive that may affect the disputed gas pipeline. This is an example of cross-party action in the interest of the entire European Union in order to remove the gaps in which the bilateral activities of Russia and Germany can break into with the detriment for the European Community.