The Polish government has stated that it has no wish to participate in the consortium undertaking the construction of the new north European gas pipeline from Russia to Germany.

The comments came on December 9, the day that a symbolic ceremony was held in the Russian town of Babayevo to mark the start of construction of the 1,200km line to Greifswald in Germany.

The pipeline is intended to boost the volume of natural gas pumped from Russia to Germany and on into other western European markets. Indeed, there is speculation that the pipeline may itself be extended as far as the UK to ease supply constraints there.

However the route of the pipeline takes it under the Baltic sea, avoiding both the Ukraine and Poland. The route has caused alarm in Warsaw, where officials fear that it makes it easier for Russia to reduce gas supply to the country as it would have a diversionary route to feed western Europe. Poland is heavily reliant on Russian gas for its energy needs, though presently it pays below market rate on the grounds that it allows Russia transportation rights for gas through the country.

The gas pipeline case has shown the convergence in politics between the current German and Russian governments, and at this time I think we should take all actions to block this investment because it very much impinges on Polish economic interests, Przemyslaw Gosiewski, a leading member of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party, told a Warsaw press conference.