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Berlin was ready to sacrifice Nord Stream 2 in deal with Poland: report

PR dla Zagranicy
Grzegorz Siwicki 15.12.2017 15:15
Berlin was until recently ready to offer Warsaw a deal under which Germany would abandon plans for a contested gas pipeline in exchange for Poland giving up demands for war reparations from Germany, according to a report.
Robzor/pixabay.com/CC0 Creative CommonsRobzor/pixabay.com/CC0 Creative Commons

Such a deal was until recently considered in Berlin, but may no longer be an option with a possible return to government in Germany of the Social Democrats, who strongly support the controversial Nord Stream 2 project, Poland’s wiadomosci.onet.pl news website reported, quoting an article by Matthew Karnitschnig from the Politico news service.

Under pressure from the Social Democrats, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is thought to be less enthusiastic about Nord Stream 2, may not be able to offer Warsaw a deal based on Germany giving up the planned project in exchange for a softer Polish position on potential war reparations from Germany, wiadomosci.onet.pl said, quoting Karnitschnig, who cited German diplomatic sources.

Massive damage in WWII

Poland’s conservative leader Jarosław Kaczyński said in October that a potential Polish initiative to seek reparations from Germany for World War II was “being analysed very intensively."

A recent analysis by parliamentary experts concluded that the Polish government is entitled to demand that Germany pay reparations for the massive damage it inflicted on Poland in World War II.

German officials rejected claims voiced in Poland that Berlin should pay Warsaw reparations for WW II, according to media reports in September.

A British MP of Polish descent has sent an open letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel urging her government to pay reparations to Poland for World War II.

Protests over Nord Stream 2

In the face of protests and regulatory doubts over Nord Stream 2, Berlin hoped to use the expected fiasco of the EUR 9.5 billion project as a bargaining chip in its talks with Poland about the reparations issue, wiadomosci.onet.pl said.

It quoted Politico as reporting that European Council President Donald Tusk, a former prime minister of Poland, has protested against the pipeline project by sending sharply worded letters to the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm.

In early November, the European Commission unveiled proposals for changes to the bloc’s Gas Directive which reports suggested could scupper plans for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia to Germany.

Under the amendment proposed by the European Commission, the entire Nord Stream 2 pipeline, including the part that would run under the Baltic Sea, would explicitly be subject to EU law, according to Polish Radio.

The new regulations could hit and possibly derail the controversial pipeline, which would carry gas from Russia to Germany while bypassing Poland and other countries in its region, the Polish public broadcaster has said.

Poland has vocally opposed the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which is designed to supply Germany with gas from Russia via a pipeline under the Baltic Sea and to run parallel to the existing Nord Stream pipeline, circumventing Central and Eastern Europe.

Tool of political pressure, not a business project?

Officials in Warsaw have long argued that Nord Stream 2 is not a business project, but a tool of political pressure, Karnitschnig wrote in his article, according to the wiadomosci.onet.pl report.

Many countries in Central and Eastern Europe are against the project, because they fear it would deprive them of income from gas transit fees that they are currently charging from Russia, wiadomosci.onet.pl said, quoting the Politico report.

There is also a deeper fear that the pipeline could leave Europe at the mercy of Moscow in terms of energy, according to Karnitschnig as quoted by wiadomosci.onet.pl.

If built, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline would supply around 55 billion cubic metres of natural gas a year from Russia to Germany.


Source: wiadomosci.onet.pl

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