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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Merkel refused to have a summit with the Polish PM. The reasons are: Polish nuclear power plans, Nord Stream 2, and Ukraine

 According to Polish press reports, the German chancellor refused to meet the Polish prime minister on the 30th anniversary of signing the treaty on good neighborliness due to the Polish nuclear power plans, the approach to Nord Stream 2, and the situation in Ukraine.

This news caused a stir in Poland. Witold Jurasz accurately described the situation on the Onet.pl portal. “If the reason for the lack of the meeting is to be Nord Stream 2, Germany has apparently forgotten who has the right to be offended concerning this matter. It is Germany, and not Poland, who, by building the gas pipeline together with the invariably aggressive Russia, betray the interests of not only Poland. It is Germany, not Poland, that disregards the interests of its ally. Suppose Germany is of the opinion that they have the right to take offense at Poland because our country wants to build a nuclear power plant. In that case, it means that Berlin understands the partnership with Warsaw that Poland is to be at best an addition to Germany and at most a customer for the Russian gas sold by Germany, and not an independent, allied state. Germany has no right to be offended for the fact that Poland wants to pursue an independent policy. If, finally, the differences of opinion concern Ukraine, then there is nothing in the Polish attitude that would give them right to being offended.”

It is worth noting that Poland's position towards Nord Stream 2 is a rather marginal issue for Berlin. Germany knows that Warsaw's opposition to Nord Stream 2 is a permanent part of Polish foreign policy, so it is difficult to understand why it would become a bone of contention right now.

The issue of a nuclear power plant in Poland is what matters here the most. It stands in sharp opposition to Germany's energy policy, which Berlin wants to extend to the entire territory of Central Europe. Among the efforts made by Germany to implement this policy is the intense fight against nuclear energy.

On March 11, 2020, German Federal Ministry of the Environment published a document that contains a very controversial passage indicating that Germany intends to exert political pressure on European Union countries to persuade them to abandon the nuclear power plants.

"The Federal Ministry of the Environment will actively promote - together with like-minded countries in Europe - the involvement of other European countries in the process of extinction of nuclear energy (…). The state-financed new nuclear power plants in the EU are not in the interests of Germany, nor in the interests of climate protection and energy transformation. Nuclear energy is no longer economically viable, it emits little CO2, but it is not clean and carries the inevitable risk of waste. The further costs it generates are enormous and burden future generations. The disposal of radioactive waste is complex, lengthy, and expensive. In the EU, we have specific Community goals in terms of improving energy efficiency and the development of renewable energy sources," reads the document.

The passage above speaks for itself. Germany openly indicates that their anti-nuclear policy (because this is what their 'Energiewende' is) aims to build Germany's economic power, thus increasing Germany's political position.