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Polish and Czech Governments Warn of More Problems with Gazprom

During a session at the Economic Forum in Krynica the Polish Minister of Economy warned that future energy supply disruptions from Gazprom were likely given the political control over the company. A representative from the Czech government also warned of problems as Gazprom enters a “showdown” with Belarus, and the issue of declining production. Bartuska0906.jpg “It will be interesting to see if Russia can keep up production levels given the fact they opened only one major field in the past 20 years,” – Vaclav Bartuska, special envoy of the Czech Foreign Ministry From article: Poland expects future problems with gas supplies due to political influence on Russia’s Gazprom

“If we had guarantees that Gazprom is playing only by market rules, things wouldn’t be a problem,” Wozniak said during the Economic Forum in Krynica. “But Gazprom realizes the policy of the Russian government. The nation’s strategy by 2030 says clearly that the fuel and gas sector are tools that support the Russian foreign policy. “This is why we must be anxious and aware of obstacles in cooperation with Gazprom, since the company has to act on political orders,” Wozniak said. Price disputes between transit countries Belarus and Ukraine have over the past few years led to temporary reductions in supplies of natural gas to Western Europe. Experts in the region believe such situations are likely to be repeated in the near future because of price disagreements and Gazprom’s plans of taking over transport infrastructure in transit countries. “Gas has started to be a pressure tool on companies and governments in order to take over transit infrastructure and control of transit routes,” said Tomasz Chmal, expert at the Warsaw-based think tank Sobieski Institute. “I’m pretty sure we’ll soon see a showdown with Belarus,” added Vaclav Bartuska, special envoy of the Czech Foreign Ministry. Bartuska also said Russia may begin to cut gas exports in the future years because of the probable decline in production levels. “Unless Russia opens a new major field, it’s difficult to see production levels maintained at current levels,” Bartuska said. “In the medium term, it will be interesting to see if Russia can keep up production levels given the fact they opened only one major field in the past 20 years.”