Gas more important than quarrels with Russia: Polish PM

Gas supplies are more important than ideological quarrels with Russia, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said Friday in parliament replying to criticism of his government's gas policy by oppositionist Law and Justice (PiS).

PiS caucus leader Aleksandra Natalli-Swiat accused the Tusk team of protracting Poland's dependence on Russian gas by sealing a longterm contract with Russia's gas distributor Gazprom, according to the Polish news agency PAP.

In his reply to the charges, Tusk stressed that "the top priority were not ideological quarrels with Russia but for gas to be in Polish homes in winter, when the temperature outside falls to minus 10 degrees."

Tusk also reminded that Poland's gas supplies from Russia were unhindered during last year's gas crisis.

Tusk admitted that buying gas from Russia "presented a dilemma, " but argued that "gas was there to give heat and government policy was there to see that this gas did not fall short in critical times."

He also reminded that his government was doing a lot to diversify gas supplies. As an example he named a currently-built LNG terminal on the Polish seacoast and an LNG contract with Qatar.

As another diversification example, Tusk named Poland's plans to install nuclear energy.

[Source: Xinhua, Warsaw, 19Mar10]

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