Poland announced steps Wednesday (March 30) to end all Russian oil imports by year’s end, while Germany issued a warning about natural gas levels and called on people to conserve, new signs of how Russia’s war in Ukraine has escalated tensions about securing energy supplies to power Europe.
Poland, which has taken in millions of Ukrainian refugees, has taken the lead in the European Union on swiftly cutting off Russian fossil fuels. The 27-nation bloc has declined to sanction energy because it depends on Moscow for the fuel needed for cars, electricity, heating and industry, but it has announced proposals to wean itself off those supplies.
“We are presenting the most radical plan in Europe for departing from Russian oil by the end of this year,” Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said at a news conference.
It comes a day after Poland said it was banning Russian coal imports, expected by May. Morawiecki says Poland will take steps to become “independent” of Russian supplies and is calling on other European Union countries to “walk away” as well.