Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
A completely one sided presentation. Yes the Poles have played games with the pipelines. You're ignoring, however, Gazprom's machinations involving massive bribery to obtain its deals. Then there's Russia's history of playing political games with energy supplies. Finally the Russian elites' open nostalgia for their lost empire and thorough disregard for democracy.  The Poles have a perfectly reasonable fear that the Russians might choose to cut them off of their gas supplies as political blackmail at some point in the future. It wouldn't be that hard for the EU and the Germans to preemptively issue some sort of guarantees and threats against Russia to reassure the Poles.

Also you're acting as if all of this happens in a vacuum.  Yet France's and Germany's policy of cuddling up to Putin has as an inevitable corollary Poland choosing to side witht the US against them and viewing these two countries as strategic enemies.  

This is happening in a context where the Polish-German relationship is already quite rocky as a result of German politicians playing to the expellee lobby. (They want a museum devoted to the suffering of the expellees, only problem, allowing the BdV - Federation of Expellees - to run it is a bit like asking some hardline pied noir group to create a huge museum in Paris devoted to their suffering. The history presented is likely to be a tad one sided. The Germans rejected a proposal for a joint group of academics to create a museum.) Polish politicians in turn have reverted to the old virulent anti-German rhetoric of the communist period.  A sad development considering the incredible progress of the nineties, including on the expellee issue.

Polish French relations are also far from ideal ever since the run up to the Iraq war where the French seem to have decided to take lessens in effective diplomacy from Don Rumsfeld.

Both the French and to a lesser extent the Germans like to complain that the Poles are an American trojan horse in the EU, yet they themselves seem bent on perpetuating and solidifying Poland's pro - Bush stance.

In any case, for its own security if nothing else, Poland needs to wean itself from its dependence on gas supplies from Russia. Personally I'd favour a combination of renewables and nuclear power (Poland currently has none, courtesy of the Party wiping out its nuclear power program in the anti-semitic purge of 1968).

by MarekNYC on Wed Sep 7th, 2005 at 04:22:41 PM EST

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