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Poland, Russia to cut decades-old gas transit ties

A gas transit deal between Russia and Poland that expires in late May 2020 will not be renewed, Russia’s Gazprom said, as Warsaw aligns its energy regulations with European Union rules and curbs its decades-old dependence on Russian fuel.

Tensions between Moscow and Warsaw over gas imports are part of wider political strain between Russia and the West, since Moscow’s annexation of Crimea from gas-producing Ukraine in 2014.

Warsaw has repeatedly said it will not buy any Russian gas after 2022, when another long-term supply deal will end. Instead, it will take pipeline deliveries from Norway and buy sea-borne cargoes of liquefied natural gas, including from the United States.

“Effectively, the current gas deal is over,” Gazprom’s spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov told Reuters. He said gas would still transit through Poland, but did not go into detail about whether transit fees might rise. Poland has long complained the fees are too low.

Poland’s transit deal, which dates back to the 1990s, is tied to the Yamal pipeline that carries Russian gas from the northern Yamal peninsula to Poland and on to Germany. It has annual capacity of 33 billion cubic metres (bcm).

After the deal expires, Gazprom can book short-term transit capacity with Gaz-System, the operator of Polish pipeline system.

Gaz-System told Reuters the capacity for May 17-18 will be available through an auction on May 17.

Source: Reuters

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