Poland to end all imports of Russian energy by the end of the year

Photo: PAP/Paweł Supernak

Poland’s plan to abandon Russian hydrocarbons (oil, gas and coal) by the end of 2022 was presented by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki at a press conference on Wednesday. He urged the rest of Europe to follow Poland’s lead in an effort to become independent from Russian energy resources.

Morawiecki explained that a total embargo on Russian coal would be imposed in April or May at the latest. As for gas, Poland’s contracts with Gazprom expire at the end and will not be renewed. Gas will be supplied from Norway via the new Baltic Pipe. Poland will also sign new contracts with suppliers of liquified natural gas, for instance from the US and Qatar, and expand its own liquefied natural gas terminal in Świnoujście on the Baltic Sea.

Poland’s Climate and Environment Minister Anna Moskwa said that Russian oil will no longer be imported to Poland via the Russian Druzhba pipeline. Instead, it will be delivered by tanker to a new oil terminal in Gdańsk. “The terminal’s reloading capacity is currently 36 million tons per year and is sufficient to meet the crude oil demand of Polish refineries,” she said. Head of Polish petrol retailer and oil refiner PKN Orlen Daniel Obajtek added that since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine the company placed orders for about 28 oil tankers to secure Poland’s independence from Russia’s oil.

To achieve full independence from Russian fossil fuels, Poland is also updating its long-term 2040 energy policy roadmap with energy security provisions that call for a rapid increase in renewable and nuclear energy.

PM Morawiecki stressed that Russia has long been using its energy resources for blackmail and “today this tool of blackmail has turned into a tool of war.” He criticised the West for turning a blind eye to this practice. “Our Western neighbours have made themselves dependent on Russia,” he pointed out, referring to Germany’s reluctance to wean away from Russian gas and oil.

The Polish PM called the proposal “the most radical plan in Europe,” urging all countries of the bloc to implement similar solutions. He also appealed to the European Commission to introduce a new tax on Russian gas, oil and coal, securing fair trade and economic rules in the European single market.