Polish, Ukrainian presidents hit out at EU’s gas decision
PR dla Zagranicy
The Polish and Ukrainian presidents on Friday criticized the European Commission over a decision on gas supplies which they say endangers energy security.
Petro Poroshenko and Andrzej Duda. Photo: PAP/Jacek Turczyk
A declaration signed by Polish President Andrzej Duda and his visiting Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko said both European Commission and Russian gas policies threatened the energy security of Central and Eastern Europe and of the EU itself.
Brussels on 28 October lifted a cap on Russian gas giant Gazprom's use of the Opal pipeline, the land branch of the Nord Stream line, a decision Poland said it would contest.
The Commission’s decision, which will be valid until 2033, means that Russia will be able to use 80 percent of the capacity of the Opal pipeline, which is part of the Nord Stream Baltic Sea pipeline connecting Russia and Germany, bypassing Poland and Ukraine.
'Decision needs to revised'
"We believe this decision needs to revised, although we at the same time understand that this step could be very difficult and painful. We are committed to defending our common interests, using... all appropriate legal means," said a joint statement by Duda and Poroshenko.
The Opal pipeline takes gas to customers in Germany and the Czech Republic. Gazprom currently uses 50 percent of the line’s capacity.
The European Commission said its move would improve the competitiveness of the market.
Fears over dependence on Russia
But according to Duda and Poroshenko, who was visiting Warsaw on Friday, the Commission’s decision makes it difficult to reduce dependence on Russian gas supplies, strengthens the position of Gazprom and could lead to the collapse of the Ukrainian gas transit system.
Poroshenko was visiting Warsaw on the 25th anniversary of Poland recognizing Ukraine’s independence, on 2 December, 1991.
Poland was the first country in the world to take such a step.