We invite you to watch RODM Online debate “Problems of energy security of Poland, Belarus, Ukraine and Baltic States” created in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Warsaw Institute and the Regional Centre for International Debate in Bialystok.
In the event took part:
– Prof. Eugeniusz Mironowicz – author of 6 monographs, including the latest foreign policy of Ukraine and Belarus. Head of the Department of International Policy at the Institute of History and Political Science of the University of Bialystok.
– Dr. Krzysztof Buchowski – associate professor at the Institute of History and Political Science of the University of Bialystok – historian, lituanist, specialist in Lithuanian-Polish relations.
– Mariusz Marszałkowski – journalist and analyst at BiznesAlert.pl, specializing in security, oil and gas sector and Eastern policy.
In the modern world, energy security is one of the pillars on which the sustainable and undisturbed development of the state is based. Since the twentieth century, and especially its second half, the demand for energy and fuels has been growing every decade. The acceleration of this phenomenon at the turn of the twentieth and twenty-first century has forced us to treat energy issues in a broad sense also in terms of national and economic security. In the past, the concept of energy security was mainly understood as ensuring continuity of supplies of specific raw materials to consumers. The fuel crises of 1956 (at that time Western countries felt for the first time a decrease in oil supplies) and 1973/74, as a reaction of producers to the political actions of a specific group of countries, showed the potential of energy resources as a political weapon. The international situation at the turn of the 1980s and 1990s generated new opportunities to influence the course of things in world politics – inter alia, through the price game on world fuel markets. The impact of the restrictions taken by energy resource producers has led the West to think about new, economical technologies allowing the use of energy sources other than traditional raw materials and the suppliers’ diversification
All the countries whose energy security was the subject of debate were in the past part of the Soviet bloc and except Poland, which had the status of a satellite country, were directly part of the USSR. Thus, for them, the main – and de facto the only – supplier of energy resources was the Soviet Union. It was reminded that in the face of the changing political reality in the late 1980s (both in the world and in the area of the Soviet sphere of influence), the Falin-Kwiecinski doctrine was formulated in the USSR. It assumed that in relation to, among others, the so-called camp of socialist countries, the military influence of the Soviet Union (Warsaw Pact) was to be replaced by the dependence of these countries on Russian gas and oil supplies. Despite the break-up of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991, because of their dependence on Russian supplies of energy resources, they remained in orbit of the influence of their eastern neighbour. Fears of Russian revisionism and the Russian Federation’s treatment of energy resources in terms of political weapons have led the countries of the region to take certain measures.
With regard to the situation presented above, the participants of the debate tried to answer the following questions:
– What were the consequences of the break-up of the Soviet bloc for the energy security of Poland and its new eastern neighbours – Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine?
– What role did and do energy resources play in the Russian reintegration policy of the post-Soviet area?
– What solutions in the field of energy policy did the governments of Poland, Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine undertake in order to preserve state sovereignty?
– How can the American-Russian competition for energy markets in Europe affect the energy security of Poland, Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine?
The problem of energy security of Belarus took a special place in the debate. It was pointed out that the energy policy of this country differs significantly from other countries of the region. The casus of the newly built nuclear power plant in Ostrowiec was mentioned. The last topic of the debate was the emergence of an American proposal to sell liquefied natural gas – both for the countries of the Three Seas Initiative, Ukraine and Belarus.
The conclusions underlined that the emergence of the US proposal in a region that until some time ago was dominated by Russians opens a new chapter in the region’s energy security policy and creates new opportunities for action.