‘Russian-German Loop Tightening’ on Warsaw, Polish Journo Claims as Baltic Pipe Suffers Setback

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Earlier this week, the Danish Environment and Food Complaints Board rejected a previously issued permit for the construction of the Baltic Pipe gas pipeline project over environmental concerns.

A Danish environmental body’s recent decision to halt the Baltic Pipe project poses “a huge problem” for Warsaw, Polish journalist Jacek Liziniewicz said in an interview with the news network Polskie Radio on Friday.

“Without deliveries from the Baltic Pipe, we will again become Russia’s petitioner”, Liziniewicz said, adding that Germany is also interested in seeing Poland in hot water. According to him, “the Russian-German loop” continues to tighten on Warsaw.

Another Polish journalist, Agnieszka Siewieruk-Maciorowska, claimed in a separate interview with Polskie Radio that the Baltic Pipe-related developments endanger Poland’s energy security and that Russia and Germany seeking global dominance is “an obvious fact”.

© AFP 2021 / JOHN RANDERIS HANSEN

Terrain is being cleared and pipes are being prepared for the Baltic Pipe gas pipeline at Houstrup Strand, near Noerre Nebel, Jutland, Denmark, on February 23, 2021

Polish political analyst Piotr Cywinski, for his part, told the news network that US President Joe Biden is allegedly seeking his country’s rapprochement with Russia and Germany.

With POTUS earlier scrapping sanctions against the operator of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, “the entire international system is changing”, Cywinski argued.

He separately referred to what he described as “powerful lobbies working for Russia and Germany”, something that Poland has “to deal with”.  

Baltic Pipe Construction Comes to Standstill 

The remarks come a few days after the Danish Environment and Food Complaints Board rescinded a previously issued permit for the Baltic Pipe project, citing the necessity of assessing the impact on the habitats of protected mice and bat species. The project was approved by the Danish Environmental Protection Agency in July 2019.

The Polish gas operator GAZ-System has, meanwhile, said that they are carrying on with Baltic Pipe’s construction despite the decision by the Danish Environment and Food Appeals Board to repeal the permit for the project.

“GAZ-System informs that the construction work on the Baltic Pipe project, of which the company is in charge, is being conducted both on land and in the Baltic Sea, without failures and is being carried out according to schedule”, the company said in a statement.

Baltic Pipe is a Polish-Danish project estimated at 1.7 billion euros ($2 billion) for the construction of a gas pipeline that is slated for completion in 2022. GAZ-System, which is expected to cover half of the aforementioned sum, earlier declared its intention to import a large amount of gas via the pipeline when a contract for the supply of Russian gas ends in 2022.

Nord Stream 2’s First Line Ready, Putin Says

These latest developments come as Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday announced that construction of the first line of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline has been finished, and that the Russian energy giant Gazprom is ready to start gas supplies. In the meantime, the building of the second line is underway, the president added while speaking at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

© Sputnik / Dmitry Lelchuk

Pipe-laying vessel Fortuna in the port of the German city of Wismar. Gazprom plans to resume the construction of Nord Stream 2 in Danish waters

The Russian-led gas project, which is currently over 95% complete, aims to lay a 745-mile twin pipeline to transport gas from Russia directly to Germany under the Baltic Sea, passing through the territorial waters of Denmark, Finland, and Sweden.

© Sputnik / Dmitry Lelchuk

The United States initiated sanctions against Nord Stream 2 in 2019, prompting Swiss pipelaying company Allseas to withdraw from the project. After a one-year hiatus, construction was resumed in December 2020 by the Russian pipelaying vessel Fortuna, which was joined by another pipe layer Akademik Cherskiy in late April.

Last month, the Biden administration waived sanctions on the project’s operator, the Swiss-based Nord Stream 2 AG and its chief executive, Matthias Warnig, before imposing restrictive measures against 13 Russian vessels and three entities linked to the construction of the pipeline.

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