Polish PM says EU must reduce dependence on Russian oil
March 11, 2014
Poland's PM Donald Tusk
Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk said on Monday he would ask German Chancellor Angela Merkel to help reduce European dependence on Russian oil and gas.
The European Union now depends on Russia for a quarter of its gas supplies.
Merkel arrives in Warsaw on Wednesday to confer with Prime Minister Tusk over the crisis in Ukraine, where Russia has taken over the southern Crimean peninsula. Ukraine is a major transport station for oil and gas from Russia to the European Union.
"We will not be able to efficiently fend off potential aggressive steps by Russia in the future, if so many European countries are dependent on Russian gas deliveries or wade into such dependence," Tusk said.
Polish PM pointed to Germany which buys around one third of its oil and gas from Russia as an example of a growing dependence on Russian natural gas in recent years.
“Germany's reliance on Russian natural gas poses a threat to European sovereignty”, Tusk said.
“I will talk with Chancellor Merkel on how Germany could revise certain economic decisions so that dependence on Russian gas does not paralyze Europe when it needs to act quickly and adopt a clear stance,” he added.