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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Tuesday, 19.12.2017, 00:00

Poland's EnMin: Russian influence in Lithuania, Poland still extensive

BC, Vilnius, 10.08.2017.Print version
After the Polish media leaked a secret recording of a conversation involving by former foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski where he urged "to teach Lithuanians a lesson" in connection to Polish investments in a Mazeikiai refinery, Poland's Energy Minister Krzystof Tchorzewski says it indicates a strong Russian influence in Poland and Lithuania, writes LETA/BNS.

He also assured that Orlen Lietuva operated at a profit and expected profits this year.

 

Tchorzewski stated he was astonished that the politicians who listed themselves as patriots of Poland had failed to take into consideration the country's interests, dismissing the conversation about teaching Lithuanians a lesson by selling Orlen Lietuva to Russia's Rosneft as betrayal of Poland's interests.

 

"Jokes and bullying that are using in the discussing of the most important and strategic interest of Poland equal to betrayal of the nation," the energy minister said in comment to the Polish television TVP, which had published recordings of Sikorski's secret conversation with Orlen then CEO Jacek Krawiec.

 

In Tchorzewski's words, it now turned out that the oil refinery in Mazeikiai, northern Lithuania, was capable of working well.

"Apparently, somebody aimed to show that the plan to retain sovereignty, which was defended by president Lech Kaczynski, is unfair and loss-making," said the Polish minister.

 

"This demonstrates that the Russian influence in Poland and Lithuania is still big," he added.

 

In Tchorzewski's words, Orlen Lietuva last year netted a profit of 900 million zlotys and should post a profit for 2017, as well.


According to portal wnp.pl, the Polish minister said Poland was moving in the direction of synchronization of the Baltic electricity networks to help Lithuania separate from the Russian BRELL electricity ring.

 

Sources close to Lithuania's earlier government say Poland had been blocking or procrastinating energy projects important to Lithuania up until this year, first of all synchronization, demanding more favorable freight transportation by rail tariffs for Orlen Lietuva.

 

The 2014 tariff dispute was settled at the end of June 2017 after Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways, LG) and Orlen Lietuva finally reached compromise and signed a deal.

 

Since the purchase of the Mazeikiai utility by Poland's Orlen in 2006, the Polish concern had been pressing the Lithuanian government to sell some of the shares in Klaipedos Nafta (Klaipeda Oil) to enable Orlen Lietuva to build a much-needed pipeline from Mazeikiai to the Klaipeda port. After the government's refusal, Orlen later gave up the idea.

 

The leaked recordings of conversations between Poland's former foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski and then CEO of oil company Orlen, Jacek Krawiec, about investments in Mazeikiai oil refinery in Lithuania do not reflect the position of the current Polish government, Warsaw said on Wednesday, also informs LETA/BNS.

 

"The published recordings of the conversations between the former head of the Foreign Ministry, Radoslaw Sikorski, and former chairman of PKN Orlen, Jacek Krawiec, do not reflect the position of the current Polish administration towards Lithuania," Krzysztof Szczerski, secretary of state at the Polish President's Office, said in a comment published by the Polish Embassy in Vilnius.

 

The official of the Polish President's Office also said he would come to Vilnius at the end of August.

 

"I will attend the anniversary of the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact in Vilnius as a representative of the Polish President's Office. Political consultations will be held on the occasion at the Lithuanian President's Office," Szczerski said.


Poland's tvp.info news  portal  Monday published a fragment of a secret recording of a conversation between Poland's former foreign minister, Sikorski, and Orlen CEO Jacek Krawiec, which showed that Poland was seriously considering selling the Mazeikiai oil refinery in Lithuania, and in later discussions of possible closure Sikorski urged Krawiec "to teach Lithuanians a lesson."

 

"I want to teach Lithuanians a lesson, so that they don't think that s***ting on Poland won't cost anything," Sikorski said. The ex-minister shared the quote on his Twitter feed.

 

The date of the conversation is not specified, however, earlier reports suggest that Sikorski's conversations were secretly recorded during private meetings in Warsaw restaurants in 2013 and 2014.






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