Polish PM: Germany's Dependence On Russian Gas Poses Risks For Europe


WARSAW, March 10 (Reuters) - Poland's prime minister said on Monday he would ask Chancellor Angela Merkel to work to reduce German and European dependence on Russian gas to avert "potential aggressive steps by Russia in the future".

Merkel will visit Poland on Wednesday to discuss the crisis in Ukraine, where Russia has effectively taken control of the southern Crimean peninsula. Events there have highlighted European reliance on Russian oil and gas.

Ukraine is a major gas transit nation for supplies from Russia to the European Union(EU), which relies on Russia for over a quarter of its gas.

"Germany's dependence on Russian gas may effectively decrease Europe's sovereignty. I have no doubts about that," Prime Minister Donald Tusk told a news conference.

"Increasingly more expensive energy in Europe due to exorbitant climate and environmental ambitions may also mean greater dependence in Russian energy sources...Hence, I will talk (to Merkel) primarily about how Germany is able to correct some economic actions so that dependence on Russian gas doesn't paralyse Europewhen it needs...a decisive stance."

Germany has been one of the strongest proponents of increasing the share of renewable energy sources in Europe. Poland gets nearly all its energy from domestically produced coal and has opposed these efforts in the past.

"The question of Ukraine is a question of EU's future, EU's safety, and a correction of EU's energy policy," Tusk said.


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