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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Merkel Urges Building of New Pipeline

Germany is encouraging private energy companies to build natural gas pipelines to the country's eastern neighbor, Poland, Chancellor Angela Merkel told Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita in an interview published Monday.

Europe should have a network of gas pipelines that functions the same way as its electricity grid, Merkel said, the newspaper reported. She said a pipeline could be built from the liquefied-natural-gas port that Germany is building at Wilhelmshaven on the North Sea.

Last week Russia shut down a pipeline supplying oil to Germany and Poland, raising concern among European Union members about the country's reliability as a supplier.

Poland gets 96 percent of its oil and about two-thirds of its gas from Russia or pipelines from Central Asia that run through Russia.

Merkel is scheduled to visit President Vladimir Putin in Russia on Jan. 21.