‘The Polish EconMin is blackmailing Lithuania’ or “atomic scandal in Vilnius”.

October 8, 2007 at 12:12 pm 1 comment

Radioactive SymbolSome developments took place on Friday that put some strain on the Lithuanian Polish ‘strategic partnership’.  As the Polish daily called it the ‘Polish EconMin is blackmailing Lithuania’.

The Polish EconMin Wozniak  was in Vilnius to take part in a seminar on cooperation in the process of integration of the Baltic energy system into UCTE.  However, at the press conference the Polish Minister stated that “All projects will go behind schedule unless we get 1200 MW of capacity. The minimum capacity that would, painfully, satisfy Poland would be 1000 MW and the normal capacity would be 1200 MW”.

Other key projects include an electricity link between Lithuania and Poland, which is necessary for Lithuania to be admitted to the common European energy system UCTE.Lithuanian official reaction was swift and resolute the Minister’s scheduled meetings with the President Adamkus and Lithuanian PM Kirkilas were called off on the Lithuanian initiative.

The PM’s office gave an official explanation that ‘”There is a lot of work to do, and the Prime Minister will depart to Ireland early next week. The meeting has been called off since the Cabinet shall complete the draft budget to be passed [to the parliament]”.  However, the PM attended a new German made train launch in Vilnius Train Station later on the day.

The President was more straight forward stating in the front of the cameras that ‘I have nothing to talk about with him (the Polish EconMin).’  The Lithuanian president, Adamkus, told journalists that he had discussed energy projects with his Polish counterpart last week and agreed on the necessity to complete the electricity bridge project.

As the BNS noticed Poland’s largest daily newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza described the event as an “atomic scandal in Vilnius”. According to the Polish daily, the power station should become “a symbol of harmonious cooperation between Poland and the Baltic states.”The daily said that Wozniak’s words drew sensitive and strong responses from Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus and Gediminas Kirkilas who recalled their meetings with the Polish minister.

Gazeta Wyborcza said that Latvia and Estonia were originally against Poland’s participation in the construction of the power plant. “It was Lithuania that persuaded Latvia and Estonia to include the Poles in the project,” said the daily. Unlike Poland, Latvia and Estonia have made no categorical request as to their shares of the plant’s generation capacity.

On the other hand the leader of the Homeland Union (Concervatives)Kubilius said to the BNS that Lithuania is  “inflexible” and “ruining the negotiations.”  The politician noted that  “The negotiations are hard and hence call for some rigidness, but I should urge our politicians not to demonstrate their ambitions and ruin the negotiations”.

Furthermore  Mr Kubilius is convinced that “Poland’s demand are not entirely made up — building a link with Lithuania, it will be facing immense reconstruction of the interior grid and it is therefore natural that the Poles want to know the amount of power they will be getting and the throughput of the power lines that needs to be set up”.

On the other hand, the Director of the Energy Institute Mr Vilemas told the Lithuanian Business daily today that this Polish action only indicates that Poland would like to opt out from the project all together and is looking for an escape root.  Once again Mr Vilemas stated that the Baltic states could build the plant with Poland and that Lithuania should concentrate on the Power grid to Sweden.   

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Entry filed under: Baltic States, Economics, Energy, Estonia, EU, Latvia, Lithuania, Northern Europe, Poland, Politics, Sweden, Uncategorized.

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