On September 27, 2022, the Baltic Gas Pipeline was inaugurated, carrying Norwegian gas from the North Sea to Poland. Recently, it has been seen that Poland has the intention to become the new gas hub of Europe instead of Germany. After a series of failed attempts to take over transit flows of Russian gas bypassing Ukraine, Poland is trying to become both a transit country and a distribution hub for the supply of re-liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Central and Eastern European countries, especially from the United States of America (USA).
Such Polish initiatives became urgent after a series of explosions that occured in the Nord Stream-1 and Nord Stream-2 gas pipelines on September 26, 2022 and the inauguration of the Baltic Pipeline, which transports Norwegian gas from the North Sea to Poland, on September 27, 2022. Looking further back, in 2019, US Ambassador to Poland Georgette Mosbacher announced that the Washington administration plans to make Poland the export hub for American LNG in Europe.
Following the Russian-Ukrainian War and Russia’s exclusion from the European energy market, two important developments took place in Europe. These are Poland becoming a distribution center as an alternative to Germany and American LNG replacing Russian energy sources. Russia used to supply Europe with around 240 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year. By the beginning of October 2022, the volume of Russian gas exports to Europe had decreased by 88% compared to 2021. This is because the European Union (EU) has increased its LNG imports from countries such as the USA.
In return, Berlin will build a $6.7 billion LNG terminal that, if fully operational, could meet a third of Germany’s gas demand. So, the idea that LNG imported from alternative sources could replace most, if not all, natural gas supplies from Russia for the EU has started to gain momentum.
Poland has long claimed that, with the Baltic gas pipelines to Germany, it has become the “gas hub of Europe” by increasing the quantity of natural gas it buys from Russia, but that this has left it weakened vis-à-vis Moscow. The USA’s goal is to end Berlin’s “gas dependence” on Moscow and to transfer the role of “gas distribution” from Berlin to Warsaw. It can be said that Germany, which had been getting closer to Russia regarding energy, will be punished in this way.
The interests of the USA and Poland overlap regarding Russia, Germany and energy. In order to maintain its competitive position in the European energy market and become an important actor, Washington needed to eliminate its European rival. After Russia’s intervention in Ukraine, the conditions for making this happen became favorable.
On the other hand, the USA has launched an initiative to replace Russia in the European market. Indeed, on November 29, 2022, the American oil and gas company ConocoPhillips (COP) and Qatar Energy, the state oil and gas company of Qatar, signed an agreement to supply Germany with 2 million tons of LNG per year on the basis of long-term contracts. This corresponds to about 2.7 billion cubic meters of pipeline gas. The USA is increasing its influence in the European market both by offering its own energy resources to Europe and by cooperating with Middle Eastern countries.
The USA is pursuing a dual strategy towards Europe. While becoming an “energy power” in Europe, Washington will also put Warsaw at the forefront, making Poland compete with Germany.
Thus, Poland will become dependent on the USA. This is because Warsaw’s relations with Washington will take on a dimension similar to the Russian-German relations of the past years, when Warsaw criticized Berlin. This policy is also supported by London. Britain, which has left the EU, is likely to cooperate with Poland in its competition with a German-French-oriented Continental Europe.
These developments and the ties established between the states will affect the internal balance in Europe as well as the policies regarding the Russia-Ukraine War. While the USA is expected to adopt a more cautious policy and assert itself in the field of security, Washington is expected to adopt a pro-Warsaw stance in the field of energy.
As is well known, Warsaw was extremely uncomfortable with the Berlin and Moscow’s strategic partnership on energy. Poland’s concerns were eased significantly after Russia was pushed out of Europe. In this process, USA’s European policy was shaped in line with Poland’s interests. At the present stage, Poland’s second goal is related to Germany. Warsaw is in competition with Berlin.
In conclusion, a Washington-London-Warsaw axis is emerging within the Western World. Poland becoming Europe’s energy hub will play a critical role in the competition against Germany.
 “Главный хаб Европы: что США обещают Польше”, Gazeta.Ru, https://www.gazeta.ru/business/2019/02/22/12200983.shtml, (Date of Accession: 27.12.2022).
 “Analysis: U.S. LNG Exports to Europe on Track to Surpass Biden Promise”, Reuters, https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/us-lng-exports-europe-track-surpass-biden-promise-2022-07-26/, (Date of Accession: 27.12.2022).
 “What LNG Can and Can’t Do to Replace Europe’s Imports of Russian Gas”, The Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/energy/what-lng-can-and-cant-do-to-replace-europes-imports-of-russian-gas/2022/08/26/b21d8a56-2536-11ed-a72f-1e7149072fbc_story.html, (Date of Accession: 27.12.2022).
 “Катар подписал соглашение о многолетних поставках СПГ в Германию”, Kommersant, https://www.kommersant.ru/doc/5694245, (Date of Accession: 27.12.2022).