Poland, Russia ink gas supply deal to 2022

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Poland and Russia on Friday inked a deal on deliveries of Russian natural gas until 2022, finalising an agreement struck earlier this month in Moscow, a senior Polish minister said.

"I'm pleased that negotiations on additional deliveries of gas to Poland have ended in success. This agreement will also lead to cooperation in new areas," Polish Deputy Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak told reporters in Warsaw after signing the deal with his Russian counterpart Igor Sechin.

Under the agreement, Russia will deliver gas to Poland until 2022, while the transit of Russian natural gas through Polish territory further west via the Yamal-Europe pipeline is contracted until 2019, according to Russian gas giant Gazprom.

The first version of the agreement, struck in January between Gazprom and Poland's PGNiG national gas company, was contested by the EU, which wanted a guarantee that other gas operators would have access to the Polish section of the pipeline, in line with European competition regulations.

Gazprom says that Poland's Gaz-System is the technical operator of the pipeline on the Polish section, adding that other operators will also have access.

Poland covers 30 percent of its gas needs from domestic sources but more than 40 percent is imported from Russia and the remainder from other countries.

© 2010 AFP

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