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Poland Terminates Deal To Receive Russian Gas

Poland has terminated an agreement to receive Russian gas via the Yamal-Europe pipeline, Polish Minister of Climate and Environment, Anna Moskwa, said on Monday, nearly a month after Russia stopped gas deliveries to Poland after the EU member refused to pay in rubles for gas.

“Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has confirmed the accuracy of the Polish government’s determination to become completely independent from Russian gas,” the Polish minister tweeted, adding that “We always knew that Gazprom was not a reliable partner.” 

In late April, Gazprom cut off Russian gas deliveries to Poland—and Bulgaria—saying that supply was stopped “due to absence of payments in rubles.”

Terminating the deal with Gazprom is a natural step, considering that Russia has breached the contract by cutting off supply, Polish minister Moskwa said, as carried by Reuters.

Reverse gas flows from Germany to Poland via the Yamal pipeline are not affected by the termination of the contract, she added.

Unlike other countries in Europe, such as Germany, for example, Poland has long argued that Europe needs to cut its reliance on Russian gas because Moscow weaponizes energy to gain influence in the EU. Poland itself has been trying for years to shake off its dependence on Russian gas as it considers Russia’s energy policy a threat to energy security. 

In October last year, Polish Oil and Gas Company (PGNiG) said it doesn’t expect it would be “forced” to buy gas from Russia after its supply deal with Gazprom expires at the end of 2022.

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“We assume that after 2022 we will not be forced to buy gas from Gazprom. This is our strategy. That is why we are diversifying gas supplies to Poland - to ensure energy security,” PGNiG’s chief executive officer Pawel Majewski told Reuters in an interview last year.

Even before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, PGNiG had signed several long-term contracts for the delivery of liquefied natural gas with major LNG exporters such as Qatar and the United States.

Commenting on Poland’s move to terminate the gas deal, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday that “We need to carefully analyse the possible consequences for the transit,” without providing details.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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