Poland ready to stop gas purchases from Russia in 2023

Jakub Kamiński/PAP

Poland has been developing alternative gas supplies and expanding its infrastructure so it can become fully independent from Russian natural gas from 2023, the government commissioner for strategic energy infrastructure has said.

Poland's gas monopolist PGNiG has notified the Russian gas giant Gazprom of its intention to terminate gas purchases from Russia under the long-term Yamal Contract by the end of 2022.

"Even if somebody thinks that in business terms further contracts (with Russia - PAP) would be beneficial, today it is even hard to imagine that," Piotr Naimski told the private radio RMF FM on Thursday.

Naimski admitted that Russian gas still takes up a large share of Poland's gas imports, but said PGNiG is able to replace it as it has built a portfolio of contracts and Poland's gas pipeline operator Gaz-System is finalising necessary investments.

The Baltic Pipe, a Poland-sponsored pipeline carrying gas from the Norwegian shelf in the North Sea to Poland, will be operational in October and the LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) terminal in Swinoujscie, north-western Poland, has been expanded, Naimski said.

The country has also been developing other infrastructure, including gas links with Lithuania and Slovakia.

Commenting on the expected prices of gas after turning away from Russia, Naimski said the prices will be "European" and added "they don't have to be much higher" compared to those under the contract with Russia.

Governments across Europe have been making an abrupt U-turn from their excessive reliance on Russian gas after Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.