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Poland to ban Russian coal imports

Poland Tuesday banned coal imports from Russia for national security reasons, according to government spokesperson Piotr Müller.

Ever since Russia invaded Ukraine, Poland has been calling for the EU to end imports of Russian gas, coal and oil — a position not backed by some other EU countries like Germany. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said during last week’s EU leaders’ summit that Poland would be ready for such a step “almost immediately.”

Poland imports roughly one-fifth of its coal — 75 percent of which comes from Russia, according to Forum Energii, a think tank. Its gas import contract with Gazprom expires at the end of the year. Warsaw is also a large importer of Russian crude oil.

Poland had earlier insisted it would first need approval from the European Commission — which has competence over the EU’s trade — to block coal, but said Tuesday it would move on its own.

“We do realize that this [the ban] might be legally questionable. These doubts are justified but we can’t keep on waiting for the reaction of the EU,” Müller said. “I admit with regret that the EU hasn’t decided on such a measure.”

He added Warsaw was worried about being hauled before the Court of Justice of the EU for its decision.

The European Commission did not reply to a request for comment. 

Also Tuesday, Warsaw published an update to its 2040 national energy policy, which includes measures to diversify of oil and gas sources.

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