Recently announced gas pipeline project “Yamal – Europe 2” has already obtained scandalous color. The decision of the Prime-Minister of Poland Donald Tusk to fire the Minister of State Treasury of Poland, who was responsible for fuel-energy complex – is the first clear reaction of Europe on this project. The reason for such decision was the signing of the memorandum between “Gazprom” and ”EuRoPolGaz” on the intention regarding the construction of the gas pipeline “Yamal-Europe-2”. The experts state – this project is of propaganda and blackmailing character. The objective is to force Ukraine to cooperate in gas-transporting sphere on the conditions of “Gazprom”. However, there are also other reasons to lobby the new project – growing energy and political significance of Russia for Europe.
The European Commission will study a Russian-Polish gas deal to make sure it complies with European Union legislation, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said on following a meeting with Poland's President Bronislaw Komorowski.
The Russian government plans to share bits of the giant Yamal prize with international companies. However, rather than a sign of liberalism, this represents an attempt to address the fundamental challenges that the expanding Gazprom is facing in Europe.
The visit of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to Poland is the most significant event in the foreign policy of Poland in 2009. The Government of Donald Tusk has a serious task to normalize Polish-Russian relations, which has lately occurred to be almost frozen.
Russian state-run gas giant Gazprom has cut its investment program in response to the difficulties it faces in the current economic downturn. These cost-saving measures contrasted sharply with Gazprom's pledge last year to become the world's largest company. Such efforts were supported by the Russian government. On July 13, the cabinet approved Gazprom's revised investment program worth 775 billion rubles ($25 billion) or 15.8 percent down from its 920 billion rubles ($29.7 billion) planned earlier. At a cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin conceded that Gazprom's January-June 2009 production was 20.8 percent down year-on-year. However, Putin voiced confidence that Gazprom's production and sales will return to their pre-crisis levels eventually.