'Ms Nord Stream 2?': Germany's Merkel makes difficult last visit to Poland

3 min read
German Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit to Poland on Saturday, part of a goodbye tour of Europe for the continent's longest serving leader, risks being overshadowed by tensions over a gas pipeline and questions over her legacy in central Europe.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel holds a roll of paper that will go inside a time capsule during the 750th city anniversary celebrations in Burgergarten, in Templin, Germany September 10, 2021. REUTERS/Annegret Hilse/File Photo

WARSAW, Sept 11 (Reuters) -

Having grown up in East Germany near the Polish border, Merkel, 67, was seen by some observers as a chancellor who could relate to the post-communist states of central Europe.

However, on her farewell visit to the capital of emerging Europe's largest economy, her determination to complete the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Russia has soured relations.

The pipeline pits Germany, the EU's biggest economy, against central and eastern European nations, some of them EU members, who say it will increase the bloc's dependence on Russian gas.

Russia, the cornerstone of the Soviet Union that once dominated central and eastern Europe, is still viewed in much of the region with suspicion.

"Generally she was seen as someone who understood central and eastern Europe," said Michal Baranowski, head of the German Marshall Fund's Warsaw office, adding Polish-German relations were at a "tricky moment".

"I think she's leaving…
Read full article