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WARSAW, March 30 (Reuters) - Poland plans to slap an embargo on Russian coal imports by May and stop using Russian oil by the end of 2022, its prime minister said on Wednesday, as Warsaw moves to cut economic ties with Moscow following the invasion of Ukraine.
Poland wants its European peers to agree a bloc-wide ban on Russian oil, coal and gas imports, but Germany and some other EU states that rely strongly on Russian energy have opposed that.
The EU does plan to gradually reduce dependence on Russian gas, however, and Germany said last week it would stop buying Russian oil by end-2022and cut out Russian gas in 2024.
On Wednesday, Berlin warned of a possible gas supply emergency over the risk of disruption or stoppage of flows from Russia.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said Warsaw would impose its own embargo on Russian coal.
“I hope that by April, May at the latest, we will have completely exited from Russian coal,” he told reporters in Mosciska, a fuel depot outside Warsaw owned by Poland’s top oil refiner, PKN Orlen.
“We will do everything to stop using Russian oil by the end of this year.”
Morawiecki also called on the European Union to introduce a tax on Russian hydrocarbons.
Climate Minister Anna Moskwa said that Poland could buy coal from South Africa and Australia and that this would not be more expensive.
Some 60% of the oil that Poland refines comes from Russia. PKN Orlen has a long-term contract with Rosneft that expires at the end of this year and an agreement with Tatneft that ends in 2024.
“We have renegotiated many contracts,” PKN Orlen Chief Executive Daniel Obajtek said. “We are ready for any scenario and there are provisions in the contract, which generally also give us some possibilities.”
Reporting by Marek Strzelecki, Anna Koper, Pawel Florkiewicz, writing by Alan Charlish and Marek Strzelecki, Editing by Louise Heavens and John Stonestreet
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