Gas a political tool for Putin says Polish PM

On Saturday morning, Morawiecki visited the site of the build-out of a gas compressor station of the Baltic Pipe gas pipeline project in Goleniow, north-western Poland, where he told a press conference that Russian President Vladimir Putin had the European Union in a state of gas dependency. Jerzy Muszyński/PAP

Poland's prime minister said on Saturday that many in the EU had now realised gas was not only important to Moscow as a source of financing but was also a matter of the "dependence of Europe."

Mateusz Morawiecki also said the EU had remained in a state of "energy bliss" and that recent events had been a "bucket of cold water."

On Saturday morning, Morawiecki visited the site of the build-out of a gas compressor station of the Baltic Pipe gas pipeline project in Goleniow, north-western Poland, where he told a press conference that Russian President Vladimir Putin had the European Union in a state of gas dependency.

"It's also a matter of submission, it's also a matter of dependency, Europe's dependency on Russian gas," he said. "And what does Russia do later with those strategic resources? It changes the money it gets for it into weapons, and uses those weapons for attacks on innocent people."

The prime minister went on to say the Baltic Pipe project went against the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines and was against Russia's interests, "that's why they tried to stop the project being carried out, but were unsuccessful," Morawiecki said, adding that the pipeline's technical acceptance would occur in June.

"In a couple of months we will have the pipeline ready, and as the head of the whole enterprise told me a moment ago, from the technical point of view we are already independent of Russian gas," Morawiecki said.

He added that events in Ukraine were a warning to the whole of Europe, which was now uniting around the aim of being "independent from Russian blackmail."

He said the Baltic Pipe would be ready in October, adding that Poland's long-term gas contract with Russia would end this year and the country would buy no further gas from Russian firms.

The Baltic Pipe will create a new gas route from Norway to the Danish and Polish markets as well as to end users in neighbouring countries. The pipeline will be capable of transmitting 10 billion cubic metres of gas a year from Poland to Denmark. The project's investors are Denmark's Energinet and Polish distributor Gaz System. It is scheduled for launch on October 1, 2022.