Is the Lithuanian-Polish honeymoon over II?

October 12, 2007 at 11:00 am 5 comments

Two presidents during the conferenceIt would be fair to say that the Lithuanian and Polish strategic partnership will be never the same for a very long time.  The Summit achieved a lot, brought the nations from various different geographical locations such us the USA, the EU, the Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia together to talk on the Energy security matters, very important Sarmatia project was signed.

However, Kazakhs told that they will keep using Russia for their mineral recourses transportation to Europe.

Further more even though Lithuania and Poland will likely sign an agreement on setting up a joint venture to implement the power bridge project by the end of this month, this agreement was meant to be signed at the summit. 

As Poland’s President Lech Kaczynski told at a press conference  “You can be absolutely certain that very soon, which means days rather than months, our agreement on the power bridge will be signed. There is no problem with the agreement, there are merely a few technical details that are problematic,” told a press conference in Vilnius on 11 October.  Even though there are some indications that the agreement would surely be inked by the end of the month, Lithuanians had heard the similar phrases coming from the Polish President many times already.

As the BNS stated, the official version was that failure to prepare all necessary documentations was the main reason behind the delay in the signature of the agreement on the power bridge project between Lithuania and Poland.  However, some Lithuanian diplomats and politicians unofficially described the Polish decision to refrain from signing the document as a “huge mistake” and spoke about possible crisis in relations.

The Lithuanian Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas admits that the emergence of a “bad shadow” in the relations with Poland. Asked by the BNS whether Lithuania could still consider Poland its strategic partner after the Wednesday’s decision to postpone the planned signature of the agreement on energy bridge, Kirkilas said that “difficulties occur even with strategic partners.” “I hope that these are only the negotiating positions, which the Poles want to reinforce,” said the Lithuanian prime minister.

He accentuated that “hard feelings cannot take you far in politics,” at the same time admitting that the current situation burdened the negotiations between the Baltic states and Poland.

In Kirkilas’ words, statements about a possible crisis in mutual relations are premature. “Elections are taking place in Poland and I believe it has to do with the elections,” said the prime minister.

Some Polish papers friendly to Kaczynskies already trumpeting that the Polish President already achieved a victory against the Lithuanians and managed to push them to accept that the Poles will get at least 1,000 MW at the New Ignalina Power Plant.

Even the Lithuanian PM noted that “If the conclusions of environmental impact assessment are positive and we are able to build a facility with the capacity in excess of 3,000 MW, two reactors, these demands might be satisfied effectively,” Kirkilas told the reporters on October 11.

However, some experts are sceptical about the ‘3,000 MW’ capacity since the plant is planed to be situated at the Drukšio lake which is not exactly the biggest lake in the world.  Hence, according to some guesses the lake’s cooling capacity might reduce the size of the New Plant to 800-1,600 MW.  Therefore, it would be rather strange if the Baltic States will build a power plant for Polish needs on the Lithuanian territory, with some Polish participation.

The Polish President, the Polish delegation and even some Polish journalists vigorously denying the fact that all the situation has anything to do with the Polish Parliamentary elections on the 21 October.  All Lithuanians are saying that all misunderstandings between the strategically partners happening because of the elections.

Even the Latvian President Valdis Zatlers commented to the BNS that   “We must be pragmatic and stick to the reality — there will be elections in Poland in a few weeks’ time, they [the Poles] must summarize certain technical aspects. Let us wait one month /…/ and they day will come when Poland will have to say either ‘yes’ or ‘no'”.

Well, there are always elections in Poland, and if there is a short period with no elections there are various political crises in the Polish politics.  Do we always have to blame on never ending political instability in our Southern neighbour and let them behave like a bully towards us ‘because of another very important internal political development in Poland’? The Lithuanians are starting to wonder about that even though Poland will remain Lithuania’s strategical partner for years to come.  However, the summit opened the eyes to many passionate Lithuanian Polish strategic partnership advocates.

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

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Poland » Blog Archives » DSC01138  |  October 12, 2007 at 3:36 pm

    […] Is the Lithuanian-Polish honeymoon over II? . Further more even though Lithuania and Poland will likely sign an agreement on setting up a joint… to be signed at the summit.   As Poland s President Lech Kaczynski told at a press conference   You can… and Poland.   However, some Lithuanian diplomats and politicians unofficially described the Polish decision… in the relations with Poland. Asked by the BNS whether Lithuania could still consider Poland its… that the current situation burdened the negotiations between the Baltic states and Poland […]

    Reply
  • […] Is the Lithuanian-Polish honeymoon over II?Further more even though Lithuania and Poland will likely sign an agreement on setting up a joint venture to implement the power bridge project by the end of this month, this agreement was meant to be signed at the summit. … […]

    Reply
  • 3. mel  |  October 16, 2007 at 8:10 pm

    One big problem when you have a “best friend” in foreign policy is when they demand too much or turn on you. Finland, the “best friend” for Estonia, has caused enough headaches for Tallinn in the past. It took awhile before Finland took Estonia more seriously. But there are still major issues. Lithuania and Poland the same. And remember, Lithuania and Poland shared more bad blood from the 20th century, Finland and Estonia were very close through the entire century.

    I wouldn’t say the honeymoon is over, but it’s a marriage, and it has its ups and downs. Poland will always behave like an angry young man denied a proper childhood. Until Poland reaches enough success that it feels itself secure between Berlin and Moscow, and economically strong enough to stand up on its own and not feel bullied, it will lash out. And it’s easier to pick on your little brother than the bully across the Oder or Belavezhaya.

    Reply
  • 4. Ruslanas Iržikevičius  |  October 16, 2007 at 8:53 pm

    Hi there,

    I agree with you, but one should remember that this relationship is purely on the pragmatic grounds, at least from the Lithuanian side. I would say that Lithuanian Polish relation is more ‘intimate’ than that of Estonia and Finland’s. We have an enormous historical baggage, and not all of it very pleasant one. However, we must keep a good relationship with the Poles from practical point of few. This relationship is not just about Lithuania and Poland, but this is about Latvia and Estonia. We like it or not, the European Electricity network is going through Poland, so the Rail Baltica and the Via Baltica.

    Thank you for your interesting comments.

    Best regards,

    Reply
  • […] and Lithuania with regards to the electricity bridge, and promises proceedings to take place “in the short run“.  I would like to add no comment to that, because the Polish president is using his own […]

    Reply

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