Polish PM disappointed with EU's concession to rouble payments

Łukasz Gągulski/PAP

Mateusz Morawiecki, the Polish prime minister, has expressed dissatisfaction with the EU's attempts to allow payment for Russian gas in roubles.

On Sunday, Morawiecki visited Ostrow Wielkopolski, western Poland, where he said his country would not yield to Russian President Vladimir Putin's blackmail.

On Friday night, the European Commission presented a controversial interpretation of how EU countries, some of which are highly reliant on Russian gas, could be paying for the commodity without breaching EU sanctions, a stance supported by Germany and France and criticised by Poland and the Netherlands, PAP's sources say.

"I have noticed with certain disappointment that there is a concession to payments for gas in roubles, something that Putin wanted," the Polish prime minister said, recalling that Poland had been punished by having its gas supplies cut off by Russia for saying no to Putin's demand.

"It is not one or two member states but several that want to yield and pay in roubles," Morawiecki said.

In late April, Russian gas giant Gazprom stopped the flow of natural gas to Poland and Bulgaria quoting Putin's decree that ordered payments for Russian gas be made in roubles, a demand the two countries rejected.

Poland is close to reaching full independence from Russian gas thanks to an enlargement of its Liquefied Natural Gas terminal on the Baltic Sea coast and a new pipeline that will soon pump natural gas from Norwegian shelf deposits to Poland. A new 552-kilometre Poland-Lithuania pipeline is yet another element of the country's strategic gas independence plan.

Poland has recently reported that its gas storage tanks were filled to 84-percent capacity.