Energy sovereignty is the basis of Poland’s security, says former Polish energy minister

(Source: Wikipedia)
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
4 Min Read

The completion of the Baltic Pipe is a success for Poland and for the politicians who actually backed it, and will enable Poland to free itself from Russian blackmail surrounding gas energy, said the country’s former energy minister, Piotr Naimski.

Naimski was the minister for strategic energy infrastructure in the current government from 2015 until the summer of this year. He was instrumental in overseeing the construction of the Baltic Pipe, which is now transporting gas from Norway directly to Poland.

In his view, Poland had been proven right that Russia would use gas to blackmail Europe to cause a crisis. 

The Baltic Pipe project frees Poland of Russian gas supplies by giving the country the capacity to import 10 billion cubic meters per annum, thereby replacing the supplies that until now have been secured via the Yamal gas pipeline with Russia. Coupled with the LNG capacity that Poland now has after constructing the Świnoujście LNG terminal and the interconnectors with Lithuania and Slovakia, this will help ensure Poland’s gas energy security. 

Naimski highlighted that for decades there have been those who opposed the project and believed that Poland should commit itself to long-term gas supplies from Russia.

“These people have always sown doubt about strategic projects that give us energy sovereignty, which is the basis for our security, and those who question our energy sovereignty act against Poland,“ said Naimski.

In 2001, the Left government shelved the Baltic Pipe project when they were in office, and in 2010 the Polish People’s Party (PSL) leader and then Deputy Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak committed Poland to an expensive contract for gas supplies from Russia.

The former Polish energy tsar defended the term “energy sovereignty” by highlighting how the events of the past few months have shown that nations cannot decouple energy from overall security. The basis for the security of any state is the securing of adequate supplies of energy, gas, oil, and coal. This was accentuated at the opening ceremony of the Baltic Pipe by the Polish president and prime minister as well as the Danish prime minister and a representative of the European Commission. 

Asked about the gas leaks from the Nord Stream pipelines occurring on the same day as the activation of the Baltic Pipe, Naimski would not be drawn into a discussion on who may be responsible but appealed for tighter measures to secure the Baltic Pipe and other critical energy infrastructure from attack. 

Naimski also confirmed that he sees nuclear power as being essential for Poland’s energy security. He is confident that the construction of the first nuclear reactor will be ready in 2033. He feels that this is a tight timetable but one that needs to be kept to so that by the 2040s, more than a quarter of Poland’s energy will come from safe and clean nuclear power stations. 

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