Associated Press
Friday, November 15, 2019

WARSAW, Poland (AP) - Poland’s state gas company said Friday it will stop importing natural gas from Russia’s Gazprom when a long-term contract expires in three years, unless it can secure better commercial terms.

The announcement comes as Poland has been working to reduce its dependence on Russian energy sources, which Moscow has sometimes used as a tool of political pressure on its partners.

The efforts to reduce dependency include striking long-term contracts for deliveries of liquefied natural gas from the United States, Qatar and other countries, as well as developing a new pipeline with Norway for deliveries from the North Sea. Poland also has some gas deposits of its own.

Polish company PGNiG said that, in line with the provisions of the deal, it had sent Gazprom, which is controlled by the Russian state, notice that it will terminate the contract as of Dec. 31, 2022. It said Poland will continue to have enough energy after that date.

The finance and development minister, Jerzy Kwiecinski said the intention is not solely to stop imports from Russia but to get fair terms.

“Everything will depend on the financial terms, but we cannot allow for the gas that we are buying (from Gazprom) to be one of the most expensive in the world,” Kwiecinski said.

Poland has repeatedly said that the financial terms of the Gazprom contract were unfavorable and that it was paying a higher price than others in Europe.

Poland uses some 14 billion cubic meters of gas a year. Under the contract with Gazprom it was obliged to import some 10 billion cubic meters of gas from Gazprom per year.

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