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“Great friendship, great pipe”, headlines Rzeczpospolita the day after completion of Nord Stream, a 1,224-kliometre undersea pipeline which runs from Russia through the Baltic to Germany. Thanks to it, “Gazprom will be able to increase gas export to Europe by 20 percent, notably bypassing key transit countries, that is Ukraine and Belarus”. The Russians managed to convince two of Germany’s largest companies (BASF and E.ON) to join the project and build a powerful lobby based on the personal friendship between the former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder (now a top ranking official in the Nord Stream management) and Russia’s PM Vladimir Putin. “This political lobby turned out stronger than the voice of several EU countries who opposed the construction of the pipeline [on geopolitical and environmental grounds], including Poland,” laments the Warsaw daily, stressing that Nord Stream has been “one of the most controversial investments in Europe in recent years”.