Polish PM, US state secretary to discuss military, energy ties
PR dla Zagranicy
Military ties and energy cooperation will be among the key topics of this week’s meeting between Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Warsaw.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Photo: EPA/IAN LANGSDON
Morawiecki has told Polish Radio that his talks with Tillerson on Saturday will focus on the planned Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea, a project opposed by Poland and other countries.
According to Morawiecki, if the contested project goes ahead, it will “de facto” create a situation in which the transit of gas through neighbouring Ukraine "will no longer be necessary." He added that Tillerson should be made “fully aware of the threats, dangers, risks involved.”
Ukraine’s energy minister has said that his country’s gas transmission system is reliable and efficient enough to handle the transit of Russian gas to Europe, with no need for a new gas pipeline from Russia to Germany.
Morawiecki told Polish Radio in an interview on Thursday that the United States was moving from words to actions in terms of energy. One example is the first medium-term contract for the supply of American LNG to Poland, he said.
"We are in constant contact with the US administration to reduce the monopoly of [Russian gas giant] Gazprom and Russia's price diktat in Europe,” he said.
Poland has vocally opposed the controversial Nord Stream 2 project, 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.
A Polish deputy foreign minister said in early November that a new US law offered a chance to torpedo Nord Stream 2. Marek Magierowski was speaking in Washington after talks with US officials about issues including the possibility of blocking the controversial project.
Morawiecki told Polish Radio on Thursday that another important subject of talks with Tillerson in Warsaw would be the “fastest possible" strengthening of the permanent presence of US troops in NATO's eastern-flank countries.
NATO leaders meeting at a summit in Warsaw in July 2016 decided to deploy four multinational battalions to Poland and three Baltic states amid fears of potential Russian aggression following Moscow's annexation of Crimea in 2014.
Tillerson is due to arrive in Warsaw on Friday. While in the Polish capital, he is also scheduled to meet with President Andrzej Duda and Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz.
According to a high-ranking representative of the US Department of State, the main objective of Tillerson’s visit to Warsaw is to strengthen America’s strategic partnership with Poland.