Poland’s broadening rift with Russia has prompted the country to cease its purchase of Russian oil, but the move has come at the cost of skyrocketing energy prices.
Now, Poland is calling on Norway, Europe's largest oil and gas producer, to “share” its profits.
In a Sunday Q&A session at a political youth forum, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki suggested that Norway share its “gigantic” profits from the sale of oil and gas, which have steadily risen in the last few months, and suggested that it was “sick” for Poland to pay Norway record-high prices for its energy.
“But should we be paying Norway gigantic money for gas — four or five times more than we paid a year ago?” Morawiecki asked. “This is sick.”
“They should share these excess profits. It’s not normal, it’s unjust. This is an indirect preying on the war started by Putin,” he continued.
As detailed by Notes from Poland, the Polish leader called on attendees to write to their friends in Norway and ask that they convince their government to share the country's profits, “not necessarily with Poland, but for Ukraine, for those most affected by this war. Isn’t that normal?”
In fairness to Poland, the country has taken the brunt of the refugees streaming out of Ukraine, even as it copes with its own fines by the European Union for its refusal to open its borders to African migrants.
Ironically it was Scandinavian countries Norway and Denmark, which previously inked a deal with Poland to deliver gas from the North Sea via the €2.1bn Baltic Pipe project, that have played an instrumental part in Poland's ability to reduce energy supply from Russia in the first place. Baltic Pipe is expected to come online in 2023, which Warsaw has seen as essential in diversifying its energy sources amid a years-long struggle to wean itself off Russia.
Bloomberg writes of Poland and its energy demand, "The country sees its gas needs rising by about 50% over the current decade as its utilities build new power plants in place of aging coal-fired units." Further, the report notes that "The deal with Norway and Denmark to build the link from the North Sea was crucial for the Polish ruling Law & Justice party’s policy to cut energy ties with Russia."