Nord Stream 2 25 July, 2017 9:00 am   
COMMENTS: Mateusz Gibała

West Pomeranian Voivodeship: local government wants to start an international group on Nord Stream 2

Olgierd Geblewicz the Marshall of the West Pomeranian Voivodeship wants to start an international group, which will scrutinize the planned construction of Nord Stream 2 and its impact on the Baltic Sea.

Representatives of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Hungary have expressed interest in the initiative. “To establish the group we need at least 10 people who will represent four EU states. So far I managed to convince 12 people from Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Hungary. I am hoping that this autumn we will establish this international team,” the Marshall said.

“It is in our regional interest and in Poland’s national interest to thoroughly analyze the impact of this investment. Perhaps we should stop its implementation. Many in the European Union are saying that Nord Stream 2 was not good from the point of view of Europe’s energy security,” he pointed.

In his opinion “the discussion on Nord Stream 2 should be as honest and as deep as possible, it should reach local and regional authorities.” Geblewicz explained that the construction of the new line of the pipeline “causes concern not only in Poland, but also in other seaside regions.”

“We remember the discussion that took place when Nord Stream 1 was being constructed. The arguments that were made back then are still valid. We know perfectly well about the chemical weapons drowned at the bottom of the Baltic Sea, close to our shores. The fact that we managed to safely build the first line does not mean the other one will be also safely constructed,” he pointed.

According to the press office of the Marshall’s Office of the West Pomeranian Voivodeship, “the research conducted on the Baltic’s seabed shows that 40 tons of drowned chemical weapons may be underwater. This problem applies the most to the waters close to the Gotland and Bornholm Basins.” Geblewicz also pointed to the fact that the discussion should pertain to the impact of the gas pipeline on fishing. “We know that such an investment has repercussions for local fishermen because it bans fishing in some areas. Nord Stream 2 which is supposed to go through the Rugen Island will also impact the local farmers,” he explained. The farmers are to receive about 3 thousand hectares as compensation for the land taken away from them for the investment. However, the new land is not to be fertile.

The group will also be tasked with assessing what chances for development the Szczecin and Świnoujście ports will have once the second line is completed.

The Marshall also announced that the group will, among others, create legal analyses of social consultations on the investment as well as an assessment of the design documents.

Marshall Geblewicz issued a letter about the group to, among others, the European Committee of the Regions and the head of the European People’s Party at the Committee.

Nord Stream 2 is a gas pipeline with two lines which will run from Russia to Germany across the Baltic Sea. Its transmission capacity will be 55 bcm annually. The gas pipeline is to be ready by the end of 2019. After that date, Russia wants to stop transmitting gas via Ukraine. Poland, the Baltic States and Ukraine are against the project. If it was delayed, Russia would have to sign a new transit contract with Ukraine. However, so far there has been no indication that Gazprom will hold up the construction.