Polish Briefing 20 February, 2018 9:00 am   
COMMENTS: Mateusz Gibała

Polish Briefing: President Duda criticizes Nord Stream 2 in Lithuania. Denmark can delay the project

What goes on in Poland on the 20th of February.

Duda on Nord Stream 2: I am surprised that Europe wants to increase its dependence on Gazprom

I am surprised that the EU wants to become dependent on Gazprom – this is how President Andrzej Duda responded to a question about the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline at a press conference in Vilnius. He reminded that the Russian side used gas as a political instrument, therefore Gazprom should not be the only source of gas.

President Andrzej Duda was on a working visit in Vilnius on Saturday. At a press conference after meeting with the president of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaite, both were asked about the issue of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.

“I just want to express my surprise that the European Union – I think first of all in this western part – wants to become dependent on Gazprom,” said Duda.

“It amazes me, that is why we have our experience as Poland, we have observed the experience of Ukraine, which was used to supply gas as a weapon in a kind of hybrid war, conducted against Ukraine, consisting in turning off the so-called tap “- he reminded.

He added that it was “a chilling example of what is possible when you deal with a de facto monopoly, which in addition is ruthless”. That is why Poland, he said, is very keen on diversifying gas supplies.

“If someone asks me why, let them answer the question why we pay for gas more than Germany,” said the president. And he replied that it was precisely because “we had no alternative and we had to take gas from Gazprom”.

“Today we have an LNG terminal in Świnoujście, we can receive deliveries to Poland, which provides us with one third of our supplies, we can look for other sources of supply, we want to build a gas pipeline from the Norwegian shelf to Denmark, and Baltic Pipe from Denmark to Poland. Then the diversification will be full “- said Duda.

Denmark can delay Nord Stream 2. Expert warnings against espionage

Denmark is investigating whether Nord Stream 2 is not in conflict with Danish foreign and security policy. Experts warn that the disputed project can be used for Russia’s spying activities. The Swedish military had previously raised similar concerns.

The Danes are considering whether to apply the amended law on investments on the seabed towards the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which is to run through the Danish territorial sea near Bornholm. In autumn, the Danish parliament gave the Danish government the right to block an investment if it considers that a project such as Nord Stream 2 is incompatible with Danish foreign and security policy.

Flemming Splidsboel Hansen from the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) said in a comment for the Danish daily Politkien that Russia will most likely use Nord Stream 2 to monitor marine activities in the Baltic Sea. – Russian defense probably can install eavesdropping devices – said the expert. A similar opinion was expressed in the autumn of 2016 by the Swedes as well.

The Swedish generals have warned that the eavesdropping devices that will be used by the Russian army may be installed in the pipeline that will run near Sweden. The Russians will be able to capture confidential information in this way.

At the moment, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is investigating whether Denmark should refuse the planned route near Bornholm, because it may be incompatible with Denmark’s foreign interests, security and defense.

– The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark is currently at the stage of examining the project in view of the autumn adopted by the Ministry – this was the message sent by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark to the daily Politkien.