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The true meaning of the refusal of Poland to buy Russian gas

Истинный смысл отказа Польши покупать российский газ

Well, what can I say, Poland has made the first practical application for political hegemony in Europe. Not yet visible, but very soon it becomes clear that notice of termination of imports of Russian gas after 31 December 2022 in fact carries such value.

At first glance, the situation seems simple. Total gas consumption in Poland in 2018 reached 19.7 billion cubic meters, showing stable growth at 2.9 percent per year. The Deposit will be closed for about 4 billion cubic meters, the rest of 15.7 is provided by imports. Including 9.9 billion cubic meters were supplied by Gazprom under the agreement signed in 1996 and expiring in 2022.

At the moment, apart from Russia, Warsaw has four sources of energy. Poland was the last country in time to jump into the departing train Qatar’s export contracts. However, to contract managed just 1.5 billion cubic meters per year, and the prices on the fact it was in 2 — 2,7 times higher than the average European market.

Next Warsaw has already signed three contracts for the purchase of LNG in the United States. The total actual value not known, but sources put the number from 5 to 9.5 billion cubic meters. The Polish authorities announce the price of “one-third lower than Gazprom’s, but, first, do not call a specific value, and secondly, comparing the final price of “Gazprom” in Poland from the selling price of gas in the US, that is excluding the cost of liquefaction, shipping and subsequent regasification.

While the cost of American goods with delivery to Europe is around 8,4 — 9,2 dollars per million British thermal units (MBTU), while the market is trading in an average of 7.2 — $ 8. So the poles themselves leave a bit less than 900 million cubic meters, the rest are trying to sell into Eastern Europe.

A very large bet on pipeline Baltic Pipe from Norway, the construction of which, theoretically, should be finished by the summer of 2020. As it is supposed to resolve the issue with crossing pipe existing pipeline “Northern stream” — the question remains open. And the resolution of “Gazprom” to have. But still believes Warsaw to obtain from Norway about 2.5 billion cubic meters per year. For what the poles are buying Norwegian gas-bearing areas.

The rest of the missing amount (about 10 billion cubic meters) will be purchased on the free gas market in the EU, control over which poles actively, and not without success, to achieve. Hoping, apparently, to reach the goal in the next two years. That a third of European gas is also from Russia, just silent. Bought in Europe, so the European and the point.

Thus, the need for Poland to direct Russian supplier will finally disappear, and Warsaw will be a key Bastion of the Eastern wall separating Europe from Russia. Which makes it certainly attractive partner for the United States as a key conduit of American foreign policy on the European continent and one of the main, if not the leading geopolitical force that controls all the European Union. Here and there, of course, for the money.

Poland, of course, cost a little, but the structure of the EU is that becoming the leader of the Eastern European border States (primarily consisting of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and a dozen are really tiny countries), Warsaw takes control of a number of influencing votes of the European Parliament, more than they have in Germany or France. And as the Berlin to Paris and was unable to form close and effective Union, bureaucratic, Poland is not particularly weaker than both of them combined.

At least this scenario looks in the eyes of the Polish ruling elite. The plan has one weakness — too much dependence on Russian gas supplies. Over the last ten years, Warsaw has gone to great lengths to eliminate this problem. Sending a notification about the termination of cooperation with Russia after the expiration of the existing contract says that, as it seems, the case with finding the absolute leadership in Europe the poles is literally ointment. However, to be continued…

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