EU must forget dream of friendly Russia after Ukraine war, says Poland official

The Deputy Prime Minister of Poland has urged Europe to develop an energy model that ensures self-sufficiency, thereby removing the ability of Vladimir Putin to use Russian gas exports as a means to manipulate and control the continent.

Jacek Sasin warns that some naïve European politicians need to give up on the “dream” of one day being “friends” again with Russia.

Mr Sasin, who also serves as Polish Minister for State Assets in Mateusz Morawiecki’s government told that Europe requires a robust response to counter Russian aggression in Ukraine.

Speaking at the Poland, The Great Project Congress in Warsaw, Mr Sasin told the Express Online: “Russia doesn’t use its energy in terms of purely economically, they also use them politically.”

The Polish Deputy Prime Minister went to attack the Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 pipeline projects which carried Russian gas to the Europe market before being destroyed in as yet unattributed explosions last September

He said: “We’re really building out a rope that then can be used again around our necks – that could hang us.”

Mr Sasin told that EU must “sober up” over the threat of unchecked Russian’s influence in the bloc’s political affairs, saying: “We must establish a self-sufficient model in Europe that is not reliant on Russian resources.

“Simultaneously, we require a robust response to counter Russian aggression.

“We should have the capability to repel any attacks on other countries by Russia. It is crucial that we achieve this goal. In particular, when it comes to resources, we must strive for independence, as it removes Russia’s influence over political affairs.

“This conflict must put an end to the idealistic notion of forging a different, harmonious reality where we can simply be friends or align ourselves with Russia.

“We must face the reality and acknowledge that we cannot display any weakness towards Russia.”

Ukraine fire rockets during night operations in Zaporizhzhia

While the European Union has made substantial progress in decreasing reliance on Russian energy, the bloc is under pressure to now take decisive action by implementing a complete embargo on Russian gas.

Writing in Euroactiv, energy expert Sergiy Makogon has backed calls for a total embargo arguing: “EU must now instigate a full embargo on Russian gas, rendering transit via Ukraine unnecessary.

“Transit is simply a service that can only be executed if there is a demand for it on the EU side.

He added: “Thus, it falls upon the EU to determine when to extricate itself from Russian gas dependency and wholly halt imports of Russian gas – a narrative that aligns more coherently with the intricacies of this geopolitical energy dynamic.”

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Gas demand within the EU is anticipated to decline by a larger amount this year than its overall imports from Russia, according to a document from the European Commission.

According to projections, the EU’s efforts to implement gas-saving measures throughout its 27 member states will reduce petrol consumption by 60 billion cubic metres (bcm) in 2023 when compared to the average usage of the bloc over the previous five years.

This decrease in consumption exceeds the volume of pipeline gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG) that the EU anticipates importing from Russia in 2023.

The text, which surfaced last month, also notes that the 60 bcm reduction is 8 bcm more than was saved at the height of the EU’s energy crisis the previous year.

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