Polish Briefing 6 July, 2017 9:00 am   
COMMENTS: Mateusz Gibała

Polish Briefing: Three Seas Initiative Summit with Donald Trump. The Kremlin will not be silent

What goes in Poland on 6th of July.

Three Seas Initiative Summit with Donald Trump

Donald Trump is coming to Poland to hold bilateral talks and take part in the Three Seas Initiative Summit. The idea was originated by the late President Lech Kaczyński and is continued by Andrzej Duda, it is a joint initiative by 12 countries of the region. It promotes cooperation in the area of infrastructure, energy security and science. The region also hopes to benefit from the heralded Chinese new Silk Road, which will run across Central and Eastern Europe.

The cooperation of Northern, Central and Southern Europe is an answer to the idea of multi speed Europe promoted especially after Emmanuel Macron’s victory in France. It was Macron who talked about forming a German-French tandem that would be the driver behind the EU’s development after years of imperfect cooperation. The idea’s opponents claim it would divide the Old Continent.

Officially the goal of the Three Seas Initiative is to create the same level of relationships and connections between the region’s countries like the one that has been present in the West for many years. This is their idea to catch up to the Western economies without creating new rifts within the Union.

Visit’s motto: security 

In his Thursday speech at the Krasiński square, President Donald Trump will talk about Russia’s actions in the east – unofficially claim members of the Polish government. Another important elements of Trump’s first speech in Europe will be security and political and military engagement within NATO. “We would like the US President to declare that US troops will stay in Poland for as long as the region is under threat,” said Witold Waszczykowski, Polish Foreign Minister.

The Polish authorities point to the main objectives of the US visit. This is mostly about security issues related to the US participation in strengthening NATO’s eastern flank and the construction of the US ballistic missile defense in Poland. Warsaw expects it will be ready next year.

“I am more interested in the presence of a few thousand US soldiers in Poland than a monthly assurance about the 5th article of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization,” said one government member when asked whether he hoped Trump would declare his affirmation of the agreement that promises a collective defense of the allies in case one of them is attacked.

Piotr Naimski on US LNG deliveries 

“We are constructing a gas pipeline that will connect Poland with Norway’s deposits. We will be able to choose where to buy gas for Poland,” the Government Plenipotentiary for Strategic Energy Infrastructure said. “During the last 30 years we have been buying gas from one direction – Russia.”

“The pipeline will reach the Polish shore most probably in Niechorze,” he informed.

In an interview for Radio Wnet he reminded that the LNG terminal in Świnoujście was one of the most state-of-the-art installations. It can accept 5 bcm of gas. It will be expanded to 7.5 bcm annually. “There is space to construct a third tanker. This will allow us to accept 10 bcm a year,” he added.

Piotr Naimski also commented on the potential development of LNG deliveries from the USA to Poland. The first delivery of LNG bought by PGNiG from Cheniere Energy reached Poland earlier in June.

“This cooperation is part of the plan to increase our energy security because safe delivery of energy sources from various producers, as well as cooperation with the US, strengthens our energy security,” said the minister. “We do not need to worry about Russian growling. We are making the situation more competitive. Gazprom wants to keep its monopoly, but we want to open the market and make the consumers independent of one Russian provider.”

The Kremlin will be silent 

“Moscow believes that the US President’s visit is against Russia, but the Kremlin will keep quiet while it waits for the results of the Trump-Putin meetings in Hamburg,” explains Iwan Preobrazenski, a Russian political scientist.

The commentary “Against whom does Trump want to be friends with Poland?” written by Preobrazenski, an expert on Central and Eastern Europe, was published recently on the rosbalt portal.

The pundit points out that Trump “goes against the traditions of the past decades,” so far he has not paid a visit to Germany, France and Great Britain. “It would be logical if now, on his second visit, he would go to US’s biggest European allies. However, Trump starts with Poland,” writes Preobrazenski.

“Similarly to Polish officials, numerous Polish papers believe Trump’s visit confirms Warsaw’s leading role in Europe. Many Poles choose to ignore the fact that Washington’s relations with key allies on the continent and Poland’s main economic partners are rapidly cooling down. It seems that the security guarantees offered by the US are more important to them than, let’s say – trade with Germany,” the expert assessed.

Poland will buy Patriot missiles from the U.S.

An agreement between Polish National Defense Ministry and the U.S. Defense Department on Patriot missiles will be the subject of Antoni Macierewicz’s press conference – the resort informed on Wednesday evening.

Modernization of air defense is one of priorities of military development. System is supposed to be mobile and make defense of chosen areas possible, such as important objects, army groupings and quotas overseas. Wisła – medium range system able to fight off balistic missiles – is a part of the countrie’s planned air defense system.

Poland will help Croatia build an LNG terminal

According to a deal between Polish and Croatian gas operator will be signed during the Three Seas Summit in Warsaw.

Gaz-System and Plinacro are supposed to sign a cooperation deal. Polish operator has managed to build the Lech Kaczyński LNG terminal in Świnoujście. The Croatian company has a problem building an analogous project on Krk island, Hrvatska LNG. Cooperation with the Poles might make it easier, thanks to know-how transfer and specialists’ cooperation. The company responsible for the Croatian terminal is Hrvatska LNG.