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Poland’s Kaczyński criticizes Germany’s refusal to cut energy ties with Russia

The leader of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party has accused Germany and France of having a “strong inclination” toward Moscow and demanded that Germany cease oil purchases from Russia as it wages war in Ukraine.

“You can’t constantly support a great power like Russia with billions in payments from the purchase of energy,” said Jarosław Kaczyński, who also serves as a deputy prime minister. “This is inadmissible from a political and moral point of view. This must come to an end, and Germany should finally take a clear stance on this,” Kaczyński told Welt am Sonntag in an interview.

Kaczyński pointed out that Russia’s oil revenues were four to five times higher than for its gas business and could be switched to a different supplier; this would be harder for Russian gas.

Kaczyński’s comments chime with those of Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who last week issued a 10-point plan to save Ukraine, agreed with Slovenia and the Czech Republic and published by POLITICO. First and foremost is the demand to cut off payments for oil, gas and coal “as soon as possible,” Morawiecki wrote.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has warned, however, that eschewing Russian oil and gas would cause a recession. Instead, Germany’s Economy and Climate Minister Robert Habeck on Wednesday suggested that Germans turn down their thermostats by a degree or two.

In addition, Kaczyński called for the U.S. to significantly increase its military presence in Europe — from 100,000 personnel to 150,000 — with 75,000 permanently stationed on the border with Russia.

He also called for a new NATO command center to be based in Poland: “That would be a clear signal to Moscow … that the NATO leadership level is now also present in the East.”

“In principle,” the Eastern European region could also permanently store U.S. nuclear weapons, he said, but any decision on this would need to come from Washington.

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