Steinmeier: no return to normality with Putin's Russia; Duda: reducing energy dependence deters Russia from war
At a joint press conference with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier held in Warsaw on Tuesday (April 12), his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda said that every step towards ending reliance on Russian oil and gas would further deter Russia from its invasion in Ukraine. "A return to normality can’t be possible with Russia under Putin," Steinmeier said, adding that Germany planned to reduce imports of energy from Russia "as fast as possible".
Speaking in Warsaw at a joint news conference with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Andrzej Duda said Poland was pursuing "full diversification" of its energy imports.
"Every step in reducing the purchase of Russian gas, and especially of crude oil, has a colossal impact in demotivating Russia continuing the war. (Russia) should clearly see the connection between its aggression, its imperial pursuits, and the question of the (Russian) state’s income, and the likelihood of further concluding contracts and sales of its resources," Polish president said.
President Duda stressed his country has been pursuing diversification of energy sources "for years".
"In literally a few days, we’ll open a gas inter-connector between Poland and Lithuania. On the first of May, the first gas exports are planned through this inter-connector. (Another) inter-connector between Poland and Slovakia is being built at the moment. We develop the network, and a gas port is being planned in Gdańsk. We are active in this regard, and we believe that Poland needs a full diversification of its import sources, and this is in the process of being realised," he explained.
The EU executive is drafting proposals for a possible oil embargo on Russia, foreign ministers have said, although there is still no agreement to ban Russian crude.
The EU last week approved new sanctions against Moscow, including a ban on coal imports starting in August.
Steinmeier said Germany, under pressure to wean itself off Russian gas and oil, wanted to reduce its energy imports from Russia "as fast as possible".
"Of course, to this belongs also the effort that many other European countries are undertaking. Also we reduce the import of oil and gas (from Russia), we want to reduce as fast as possible. This will work faster regarding oil (than regarding gas)," German president said.
Steinmeier also said that there could be return to normal relations with Putin, adding both he and Duda were calling for an immediate humanitarian evacuation of residents of the besieged city of Mariupol.
"A return to normality can’t be possible with Russia under Putin. The Russian war crimes in Ukraine became visible to the eyes of the world. Those crimes have to be documented and clarified, the perpetrators and the politically responsible have to be held accountable," he stressed.
"And we ask him (Russian President Vladimir Putin) to enable an immediate humanitarian evacuation of the people in Mariupol. Both of us appeal to Russia in this regard, in the face of the misery that we see daily in pictures from Mariupol," president Steinmeier said.
Źródło: TVN24 News in English, Reuters
Źródło zdjęcia głównego: TVN24