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WARSAW, July 6 (Reuters) - Poland expects to sign a long-term deal for liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies from the U.S. to reduce its reliance on Russian gas, the country’s President Andrzej Duda said after meeting U.S. president Donald Trump.
Poland imports most of the 16 billion cubic metres of gas it consumes a year from Russia, on the basis of a long-term deal with Gazprom which expires in 2022.
Warsaw plans to replace the Russian gas after then with supplies from Norway via a planned pipeline as well as with more LNG from the U.S. coming to its terminal at the Baltic Sea.
Duda spoke to Trump, who is visiting Warsaw, about Poland’s security and gas supplies.
“Let’s hope for more supplies and further diversification of supplies of this commodity to Poland,” Duda said at a joint news conference with Trump adding that he expects a long term contract with the U.S. to be signed “soon” and expressing hopes Poland may become a hub for U.S. deliveries for the region.
Trump confirmed that “many more” U.S. LNG shipments will be coming to Poland, but said the price might rise.
“Maybe we get your price up a little bit, but that’s ok, tough negotiations,” the U.S. president said.
“We are sitting on massive energy, we are now exporters of energy. Whenever you need energy, just give us a call,” Trump said.
Poland received its first and only LNG shipment from the U.S. in June and its state-run firm PGNiG is in talks over more deliveries.
Poland’s ambition is to resell gas in future, especially to Ukraine, but also to southern Europe. Once it completes the pipeline to Norway and expands its LNG terminal it will be able to import more gas than it consumes.
“America stands ready to help Poland and other European nations diversify their energy supplies, so that you can never be held hostage to a single supplier,” Trump said, referring to Russia.
Duda said that Poland wants to make sure no countries from the region fall victim to any gas “blackmailing” in the future. He also expressed support for a plan to build a gas link between Poland’s LNG terminal and Croatia. (Additional reporting by Marcin Goettig and Agnieszka Barteczko; editing by Elaine Hardcastle)
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