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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Poles Protest Baltic Pipeline

GDANSK, Poland -- Poland believes the project to build an undersea gas pipeline to carry Russian gas to Germany is unprofitable and wants the European Commission to consider alternative routes, ministers said on Saturday.

Polish officials were outraged over fellow European Union member Germany's agreement with Russia to build the pipeline under the Baltic sea, effectively bypassing Poland and other EU newcomers.

With backing from Berlin and Moscow, Germany's BASF and gas giant Gazprom agreed to invest in the undersea route -- an alternative to expanding a recently built pipeline already running through Poland.

"We cannot hold it against anybody that there are plans for the undersea pipeline. But we should use our position in the EU to support alternative projects," Prime Minister Marek Belka told reporters.

Polish officials have voiced fears that after building another pipeline to Germany, Gazprom could effectively "cork" the Yamal transit link, which now supplies both Poland and its western neighbors.

"Unless the [undersea pipeline] is co-financed from EU coffers, we think it is an unprofitable and economically unjustified project. There are better routes and we want to prove that," Economy Minister Jacek Piechota told reporters.