Poland to stop Russian oil imports in February or March says PM

Albert Zawada/PAP

Poland should cut to zero the level of Russian crude oil imports in February or March, Mateusz Morawiecki, the prime minister, has said.

The Polish government has made the ending of Russian carbon fuel imports a priority owing to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, although the country had already been moving away from Russian oil for a number of years.

"We have been reducing Russian oil imports since 2016. At the beginning of the year, we cut them to 10 percent," Morawiecki told reporters after a government meeting on Tuesday.

"And they (oil imports - PAP) will go down to zero or nearly to zero in February or March," he said, adding that Poland could resign from the contracted oil but it would still have to pay for it.

Morawiecki said that the reduction of Russian oil imports was possible thanks to the imposition of EU sanctions, and added that "Poland was the main initiator of a total embargo on Russian carbon fuels" owing to Russia's war on Ukraine.

PKN Orlen, the country's leading oil and gas company, announced on Saturday that Russia had suspended deliveries of oil to Poland via the Druzhba pipeline.

According to PKN Orlen, since the beginning of February, when the contract with the Russian energy firm Rosneft expired, Russian oil imports covered only 10 percent of its needs. These were only pipeline deliveries which had not been placed under international sanctions.

In all, 90 percent of Orlen's oil now comes from other sources than Russia.