Exclusive interview of the lecturer, Vistula University ( Warsaw) Mr. Koscinski
Poland has demonstrated achievements in its energy security assurance. What are the issues and challenges Poland faces in this sphere today?
Poland is still dependent on gas supplies from Russia. Russian gas covers two thirds of the total Polish demand for raw material. Poland, however, aims to change this situation. The first step on the way to this goal was the completion in 2016 of the construction of the LNG terminal. It aims to diversify supplies that will make Poland independent of Russian gas. The current Polish government announces that it will extend the contract with Gazprom, valid until 2022, for the supply of gas to Poland. The Baltic gas pipeline will help in this, the implementation of which is proceeding according to schedule and to be completed in October 2022. The good news came from the USA: American Senators Chris Murphy and Ron Johnson presented a bill that would provide Europe with assistance in diversifying energy sources and "resisting the influence of Russia". The aid would amount to one billion dollars and be directed to investments in strategically important energy projects in Central and Eastern Europe.
How do you evaluate the first meeting of the Visegrad Group (V4) and Central Asia and new EU strategy for CA?
As Polish Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Piotr Wawrzyk, represented Poland in Budapest, said during the meeting of foreign ministers of the Visegrad Group (V4) and Central Asia ( CA) states - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan. Poland attaches great importance to contacts with partners from the countries of Central Asia. There are two aspects of this meeting. First - it is possible to support the Visegrad countries to cooperate with the countries of Central Asia within the European Union. Poland (together with Latvia) is, for example, the state-coordinator of the European Central Asian Educational Initiative (CAEP), one of the priority EU projects in relations with this region. The second is the development of regional and bilateral cooperation.
Today how important for Poland mutual relations with Kasakhstan and others Central Asian countries?
Kazakhstan, as the largest Central Asian state, is obviously important for Poland. The foreign trade office of the Polish Investment and Trade Agency (PAIH) in Astana from the beginning of 2018 served about 300 Polish companies that expressed their willingness to expand into the Kazakh market. Currently, the most visible on the Kazakh market are Polish companies from the pharmaceutical, cosmetics, construction and mining equipment manufacturers. The largest Polish companies that have invested in factories are Polpharma (pharmaceutical industry) and Selena (construction). But there is, of course, also another reason for Poland's interest in Kazakhstan. This presence has over 30,000 Poles, mainly in villages in the north of the country. In 1936, deportations of Poles from the then Soviet-Polish border, from Ukraine to Kazakhstan, were carried out in the USSR. Those who live in this country are their descendants. Some want to return to Poland - and return as part of the repatriation action. However, some will definitely stay in Kazakhstan.
Poland is interested in cooperation with other countries of the region, which - despite its diverse nature - is still a whole and is treated so by many external partners.