Poland Wants Nord Stream Gas Pipeline to Run Under Seabed

The Nord Stream gas pipeline linking Russia with Germany must be laid under, not on, the Baltic seabed in the area adjacent to the Polish ports of Szczecin-Swinoujscie. This postulate has been submitted by Poland in talks held with the German government, deputy minister of state treasury Mikolaj Budzanowski said Thursday.

Poland believes that a pipeline laid on the seabed may restrict navigation at some future date, thus putting restrictions on the development of the Szczecin and Swinoujscie harbours and jeopardising the development of the planned Swinoujscie gas terminal.

The only acceptable limit on the development of sea traffic to/from the Polish harbours is the depth of the Danish Straits (17.5 meters), explains the head of Szczecin port Andrzej Borowiec. The access route for ships plying for Swinoujscie is now 14.5 meters deep and a pipeline laid on the seabed there would make it impossible to deepen the route in future.

Deputy Minister Budzanowski said the Polish position, which is considered top priority, had been presented to the German side in official documents. Talks with the Germans have been held at government level by officials from the environment, foreign affairs and infrastructure ministries.

As a result of the talks the German side has pledged to include a clause in the new spatial development plan saying that the Nord Stream pipeline (and any other similar project) must be placed under the seabed.

BBC Monitoring. Copyright BBC.