Polish PM sees no long-term threat to halted gas pipeline

Poland's flagship energy security project, the Baltic Pipe, which runs from Norway’s gas deposits and across Denmark and the Baltic seabed, is not threatened in the long run by a Danish decision to halt construction, the prime minister has said.

Denmark has withdrawn environmental permits for an overland stretch of the pipeline across Danish territory.

"I believe that in the longer term the investment is not threatened, but indeed the Danish environmental agency has halted for some time… the works due to the habitat of local mice and bats," Mateusz Morawiecki said on Friday.

"I can only express my great wish for the analytical work to finish quickly," Morawiecki said, but admitted it could take months before work is re-started.

Denmark’s decision is seen as the first major setback to Poland's plans of becoming fully independent of Russian gas supplies. The environmental permit will now be reconsidered after a further analysis of the project's environmental impact.

"Of course, we respect all the mice and bat species, but this investment is absolutely critical for the energy sovereignty of Poland, but also for energy sovereignty as a means of preventing Russian gas blackmail," Morawiecki continued.

"We'll certainly complete the investment, but I would like to see it completed before or on the deadline, and not half a year later," the prime minister said.

The Baltic Pipe is due to be completed by the autumn of 2022. At the moment it is not clear whether it will be delayed.