US embassy cable - 06WARSAW148

U.S.-POLAND STRATEGIC DIALOGUE II - ENERGY SECURITY

Identifier: 06WARSAW148
Wikileaks: View 06WARSAW148 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Warsaw
Created: 2006-01-31 18:29:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: ENRG ECON PGOV PREL PL UP RS NO AJ TX Economy
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 WARSAW 000148 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR EUR A/S FRIED, EUR/ERA, EUR/NCE, E, EB/ESC 
EUR FOR DAS MPEKALA, EUR/NCE FOR DKOSTELANCIK AND MSESSUMS 
EB/ESC FOR SGALLOGLY AND RGARVERICK 
STATE PASS TDA 
TDA FOR DSTEIN 
COMMERCE FOR 4232/ITA/MAC/EUR/OECA/MROGERS 
TREASURY FOR MGAERTNER 
ENERGY FOR LEKIMOFF 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/25/2016 
TAGS: ENRG, ECON, PGOV, PREL, PL, UP, RS, NO, AJ, TX, Economy 
SUBJECT: U.S.-POLAND STRATEGIC DIALOGUE II - ENERGY SECURITY 
 
REF: WARSAW 0079 
 
Classified By: DCM Ken Hillas, Reasons 1.5 b and d 
 
1.  (C)  Begin Summary.  Septel reports on security and 
defense issues discussed by EUR A/S Dan Fried and ASD/ISP 
Peter Flory at the Third U.S.-Polish Strategic Dialogue (SD) 
January 25 in Warsaw and provides a list of the principal 
U.S. and Polish participants.  This cable reports on the 
Energy Security session of the SD.  Energy Security was also 
a dominant theme in meetings with senior GOP officials 
outside of the SD.  The negotiation of a new European treaty 
on energy security with an Article V-like commitment to joint 
energy security was explained by the Poles.  They requested 
U.S. assistance in finding a "coalition of the willing" to 
join the treaty.  EUR A/S Fried agreed to include energy 
security as an important issue in the U.S.-Poland strategic 
dialogue, but demurred on the "treaty" proposal.  Poland 
discussed plans to diversify energy sources including the 
construction of a dedicated gas pipeline from Norway and an 
LNG port on the Baltic.  Poland would also like to join the 
International Energy Agency but is finding establishment of 
required stockpiles too costly.  A/S Fried suggested that TDA 
could assist Poland with feasability studies of an LNG port 
and methane-to-markets project. 
End Summary. 
 
Polish Views on Energy Security 
------------------------------- 
2.  (C)  Septel reports on security and defense issues 
discussed by EUR A/S Dan Fried and ASD/ISP Peter Flory at the 
Third U.S.-Polish Strategic Dialogue (SD) January 25 in 
Warsaw and provides a list of the principal U.S. and Polish 
participants.  This cable will cover energy security issues. 
Secretary of State in the Ministry of Economy Piotr Naimski 
 
SIPDIS 
told EUR A/S Fried and the U.S. delegation to the U.S.-Poland 
Strategic Dialogue that Poland sees energy security in a wide 
sense.   Naimski added that the GOP started a project to 
diversify its energy sources before Russia cut gas supplies 
to Ukraine.  That crisis showed the wider European population 
that energy stability is a hot issue.  The GOP is convinced 
that Russia is not a reliable energy supplier because: Russia 
reduced energy supplies to Ukraine for political reasons; 
Russia diminished supply to Europe because of the bad weather 
- apparently surprised by the winter; and gas pipelines were 
blown up near Georgia.  Poland is almost totally dependant on 
Russian resources, explained Naimski, 97% of oil consumed by 
Poland and 98% of imported gas (two-thirds of total gas 
consumption) is from Russian and other Former Soviet Union 
countries.  Poland must diversify, which means finding other 
sources than those existing as well as securing alternative 
transportation routes.  Poland understands that energy 
security is a different issue in Warsaw and Budapest than in 
Madrid, Berlin or Lisbon.  For those countries, buying gas 
from Gazprom is adding to diversification, while for Poland 
and Hungary, buying additional gas from Gazprom is deepening 
dependency on Russia.  Poland would like solidarity and 
compromise on the EU level. 
 
Poland's Diversification Plans 
------------------------------ 
3.  (C)  Last week, Naimski went to Oslo for discussions with 
the Ministry of Energy and Oil.  The Norwegians are willing 
to discuss constructing a dedicated gas pipeline to Poland 
and will have 120 BCM of gas available to sell in 2010 (an 
increase of 40 BCM from the current 80 BCM).  Poland is also 
considering an LNG terminal on the Baltic coast. 
Diversifying crude oil purchases is easier than gas because 
technically Poland can receive supplies in its Baltic ports. 
Poland would like access to new fields being developed by 
Western (especially U.S.) companies.  It would also like 
cooperation between Polish refineries and U.S. commercial 
players. 
 
Poland's New Initiative on Energy Security 
------------------------------------------ 
4.  (C)  The GOP made public on January 25 a new project for 
cooperation in energy security.  Poland would like to discuss 
and negotiate an agreement for energy security that would be 
open to all EU and NATO members.  Naimski stated that the 
specifics need to be discussed, but Poland would like to 
include a commitment similar to NATO Article V that would 
ensure each member's energy security.  Poland knows this will 
be difficult and will require technical discussions but it 
must be discussed as a universal idea.  Madrid and Lisbon 
need to understand energy security as well as Budapest and 
Washington, he said.  For example, Portugal must understand 
that energy security means more than buying additional supply 
from North Africa, because such an agreement will help them 
too. 
 
Energy Security and Ukraine-Russia 
---------------------------------- 
5.  (C)  A/S Fried agreed to call energy security a major 
issue in the U.S.-Poland bilateral and U.S.-European dialogue 
and raise the issue at NATO and with the EU.  He stated that 
energy security is the most important issue that he and A/S 
Flory discussed during their trip and that the U.S. 
government is seized by the issue.  The U.S. position on the 
Russian shutoff of Ukrainian gas was best stated by Secretary 
Rice.  We regard the Russian decision to shut off gas as 
political pressure on Ukraine.  However, Ukraine should no 
longer count on subsidized gas.  The U.S. believes gas sold 
in Ukraine should be sold at world prices after a transition 
period and that a mixture of Russian and Turkmen gas is 
acceptable.  But, other provisions of the arrangement are 
less comfortable.  Most troubling is that the supply of all 
gas to and through the Ukraine is now in the hands of 
Rosukrenergo (RUE), a suspect trading group with ties to 
organized crime, no assets, and no obvious value added.  The 
USG told the Ukraine that we sympathize with their reasons 
for concluding an agreement quickly, but that we can not 
support REU's role.  A/S Fried stated that it's unclear what 
the government of Ukraine will do.  The framework was 
supposed to be turned into an agreement today (January 25) 
and he had no sense that they were prepared to reopen the 
issue. 
 
6.  (C)  The U.S. would like Ukraine to have more 
transparency in its energy sector as lack of transparency is 
an invitation to corruption.  The U.S. told the Ukrainian 
government that it is not alone in dealing with Russia, but 
that the U.S. and European allies, will support them.  Fried 
noted that in a meeting with EU Political Directors in 
Alpbach, he had expressed concern that Europe's energy 
security is now in the hands of a company with criminal ties. 
 President Yuschenko told A/S Fried that he is interested in 
nuclear capacity.  Unfortunately, Yuschenko also stated that 
he is interested in uranium enrichment, which the U.S. is not 
enthusiastic about.  However, the U.S. is willing to discuss 
cooperation on nuclear issues with Ukraine. 
 
7.  (C)  The U.S. believes all governments must look at gas 
alternatives, emphasized A/S Fried.  As a rule, 
diversification of energy sources takes time.  Russia will 
and should be a major supplier to Europe.  But, there is no 
reason that all Central Asian gas should go through Gazprom, 
be bought at below market prices, then sold at prices five 
times higher.  The U.S. began talking to Central Asian 
countries at President Nazarbayev's inaguration, and 
discussed general gas supply issues with Kazakhstan and later 
Presiden Niyazov of Turkmenistan.  The U.S. also encouraged 
Azerbaijan to help Georgia.  We are encouraging Russia to 
behave responsibly.  Gazprom is repairing the pipes that 
supply Georgia, and is supplying gas to Georgia through 
Azerbaijan.  This appears to be an example of physical rather 
than political problems with gas supply.  Nevertheless, 
Europe, especially Germany, has woken up to the problem of 
dependency on Russia.  We hope that the EU, and especially 
Germany, drew a lesson from recent events and will work on a 
strategy to avoid future occurences.  The U.S. will continue 
to discuss energy security in the EU and NATO.  Tony Wayne 
was in the Ukraine with A/S Fried and is now in Brussels 
discussing the issue with EC energy experts. 
 
Potential U.S. - Polish Cooperation 
----------------------------------- 
8.  (C)  Fried stated that a Baltic LNG port could have 
advantages for Poland and the U.S. will consider a TDA 
feasability study if Poland is interested.  A/S Fried will 
encourage TDA to work with Poland on such a study.  The U.S. 
would also welcome Poland becoming a member of the 
International Energy Agency.  In addition, the U.S. has 
technology to use methane gas from coal mines that it can 
share with Poland if it is interested.  EB/ESC Garverick 
summarized U.S. analysis of the international energy 
situation.  He noted that the IEA has a crucial role in talks 
between the U.S. and EU and encouraged Poland to accelerate 
its membership.  It's important that Poland and other Central 
European countries have a seat at the table during IEA 
discussions.  During the Russian Presidency of the G-8, 
energy security will be discussed, including during a meeting 
of Energy Ministers in March.  The U.S. has a Coal-Bed 
Methane project run by the EPA that Poland could participate 
in that includes Russia and Ukraine.  The USG would like 
Poland to participate on the steering committee and in a 
symposium in May.  The U.S. believes LNG is a good 
opportunity for Poland, but must be market based.  USTDA 
could assist Poland with feasability studies for an LNG port 
and coal bed methane projects. 
 
Storage Capacity a Barrier to IEA Membership 
-------------------------------------------- 
9.  (C)  Deputy Minister Naimski explained that Poland would 
like to join the IEA as soon as possible but has difficulty 
meeting the storage criteria and must amend some laws. 
Changing the laws is easy; increasing storage capacity is 
extremely costly.  He asked if the IEA would consider 
allowing Poland to join while working on its storage 
capacity. 
 
A Coalition of the Willing on Energy Security 
--------------------------------------------- 
10.  (C)  Naimski asked if the U.S. had other countries in 
mind for a dialogue on energy security.  Chancellor Merkel 
indicated during her recent trip to the U.S. that she is 
interested in approaching the issue in a new way.  The United 
Kingdom also understands that this is a strategic issue.  A 
core group of like minded countries would likely include the 
U.S., Poland, Germany, The U.K., the Baltics, the Central 
European countries, and the Scandinavians.  If Norway is 
interested, that would be good.  The Dutch are interested in 
energy security as an abstract concept, although unaffected 
by recent events.  Turkey is generally interested in energy 
security, and especially pipelines that would cross Turkey 
into Europe.  The U.S. will stay in close contact with 
Ukraine and will continue to press the government there to 
open its energy sector to international investment. 
 
11.  (C)  Naimski responded that the GOP is staying in touch 
with German Minister of Energy Adamowicz.  The GOP and German 
governments started a consultation group.  The GOP informed 
the Germans that it does not need gas from the Northern 
Baltic pipeline but deeper cooperation on broader energy 
issues.  MFA North America's Director Szlajfer requested that 
energy security be raised at NATO.  A/S Fried stated that he 
would discuss the issue of NATO on January 31.  DAS Pekala 
thanked the Poles for their regional leadership on the issue. 
 Naimski added that he is traveling to Budapest Friday 
January 27 for a meeting with the Visegrad 4, Austria (as 
Austria, not as EU President), Slovenia, Romania, and 
Croatia.  He will instruct the Polish Ambassador to NATO to 
discuss energy security with these and other friendly 
countries. 
 
12.  (U)  A/S Fried cleared this cable. 
ASHE 

Latest source of this page is cablebrowser-2, released 2011-10-04