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Poland Condemns Russian-German Pipeline Deal

Poland's defense minister has condemned an agreement forged by Germany and Russia to build a gas pipeline beneath the Baltic Sea that bypasses Poland.

Radek Sikorski expressed concern in Brussels Sunday that a new undersea pipeline would allow Russia to cut off energy supplies to Poland and Belarus without disrupting deliveries to western Europe.

The Polish defense minister says the deal raises questions about Germany's commitment to European Union security and foreign policies. Sikorski said the plan revives memories of the infamous Nazi-Soviet pact in 1939 that divided Polish territory between Nazi Germany and Josef Stalin's Soviet Union.

Despite Poland's objections, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has refused to abandon the pipeline project, which was negotiated by her predecessor, Gerhard Schroeder. Sikorski says building a pipeline beneath Baltic Sea would be far more expensive than modernizing the existing pipeline across Poland.

Ms. Merkel took part in a business forum in Siberia last week, where Russian President Vladmir Putin shrugged off concerns about Russia's political use of its energy.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.