Polish Briefing 5 July, 2017 9:00 am   
COMMENTS: Mateusz Gibała

Polish Briefing: Trump’s challenges. Der Spiegel criticizes Nord Stream 2

What goes in Poland on 5th of July.

Gaz System: the 18th LNG delivery reached the terminal

Gaz System’s spokesman, Tomasz Pietrasieński, tweeted that the 18th LNG delivery reached the President Lech Kaczyński’s LNG Terminal in Świnoujście.

The terminal’s regasification capacity is 5 bcm a year, which is roughly a third of the Polish gas demand. If needed the facility’s regasification capacity can be expanded to 10 bcm annually.
The Polish Petroleum and Gas Mining Company (PGNiG) signed two contracts with the state-owned Qatargas to buy liquefied natural gas which is transported in tankers to the LNG terminal in Świnoujście. As of 2018 the deliveries from Qatar will increase to ca. 2.7 bcm a year.

At the beginning of June, the first LNG shipment from the USA reached the Polish terminal.

Trump’s challenges 

According to Janusz Sibora, PhD, researcher of diplomatic protocol, “Donald Trump will have to very clearly define his policy towards Russia. Warsaw is the best place to do it.” He also believes that “the speech will become <Trump’s doctrine>.”

Sibora claims that the US realizes that Germany and France will try to reconstruct the relations between America and Europe. “The US might be pushed out of Europe. Not only from Central and Eastern Europe, but from Europe as a whole. Its status will change, which is why in my opinion this is a rescue visit,” he assessed.

The expert on diplomacy pointed to the fact that the narrative before Donald Trump’s visit in Warsaw comes from the White House. “The press release about Trump’s visit to Poland has only a few sentences, but it is full of content,” he stated. “First of all, it says that the president was obviously going to the G20 summit, but the next sentence is about NATO. This means the president will reiterate the value of cooperation and common interests,” the expert said. In his opinion, the common interest, or US’s priority is strengthening NATO’s collective defense.

The Three Seas Initiative is a strong political signal

A strong political signal, expansion of the common market, improvement of regional security – the objectives of the Three Seas Initiative promoted by President Andrzej Duda are tremendous. And so are the concerns on the degree to which this is a real possibility and to which it is just an expression of unrealized regional ambitions of the Initiative’s initiators. The July summit, which will be attended by the US president, may provide answers.

However, it is obvious that every state, which signed the declaration has its own interests to pursue. Last May, the Polish President declared that he wanted the Three Seas Initiative to become a priority of his presidency. He also stressed that this was an economic and infrastructural project, not a political one.

Der Spiegel criticizes Nord Stream 2

An article in the Der Spiegel weekly criticized the planned Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. The European Commission wants to negotiate the terms and conditions of the investment.

Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of Energy Union, told the weekly that “the EC wants to negotiate with Russia on Nord Stream 2.”

“We cannot have a situation where Russian law is in force on the Baltic Sea and EU law on the shore,” criticized the project Šefčovič. He also added that by 2019 the gas that will flow via both Nord Stream gas pipelines will make Europe too dependent on Russian gas.

Last Monday in Luxemburg, the Commission presented the Member States the mandate that included further plans for tackling the issue. The mandate will be subject to discussions, whereas decisions will be made in the fall by the European Council. 13 countries approved the mandate, Germany abstained.