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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Poland Warns Europe on Gas

Europe urgently needs to reduce its dependence on Russian energy because the country has proved itself an unreliable partner, Polish Economy Minister Piotr Wozniak said Friday.

The diversification is very important, and not only for Poland, Wozniak said in an interview at a conference in Warsaw.

"Regardless of all declarations, manifestations and cooperation agreements, we experienced three weeks of gas shortages in the middle of a hard winter."

Gazprom stopped deliveries to Ukraine in January in a dispute over prices. Gazprom wanted to raise prices fivefold for gas supplied to its neighbor, a former Soviet state. Cutting off gas to Ukraine forced the Polish government to cut deliveries to the chemical industry by 80 percent for three weeks, Wozniak said.

According to Wozniak, Poland is not interested in participating in any way in a pipeline now being built by Germany's E.On and BASF and Gazprom underneath the Baltic Sea, bypassing Poland, the Ukraine and the Baltic states.