Poland has demanded that Norway share the “excess” profits it’s been making as oil and gas prices soar amid the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
Russia Today reported this on Sunday, 22nd May, quoting a statement said to have been made by the Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki at the National Youth Dialogue congress on the same day.
“But should we be paying Norway gigantic money for gas – four or five times more than we paid a year ago? This is sick,” he said, claiming that the excess of the annual average gas and oil profit “will exceed €100 billion” this year for a country of five million people like Norway.
“They should share these excess profits. It’s not normal, it’s unjust. This is an indirect preying on the war started by Putin,” the PM said.
Morawiecki went on to urge young Poles to go and shame their Norwegian “friends” over the fat gas profits online to push the country into sharing the wealth.
“Write to your young friends in Norway,” he said. “They should share it immediately,” Morawiecki stated, adding that it shouldn’t necessarily be shared with Poland, but with Ukraine.
Morawiecki while addressing his government’s energy policy said col-reliant Poland plans to switch to renewables and nuclear energy, while shedding oil and gas deliveries from Russia and at some point from “Arab” countries as well.
Poland will later this year complete a gas pipeline from Norway that’s set to help it replace the supply of the fuel from Russia — cut last month following Poland’s refusal to pay in rubles.
The country sees its gas needs rising by about 50% over the current decade as its utilities build new power plants in place of aging coal-fired units. The deal with Norway and Denmark to build the link from the North Sea was crucial for the Polish ruling Law & Justice party’s policy to cut energy ties with Russia.
Meanwhile, Poland’s main gas company, state-controlled PGNiG SA, saw its Ebitda (or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) profits almost double in the first quarter, reaching some $2.19 billion, writes Bloomberg. The profit was primarily generated by the Norwegian unit of the state-owned Polish company, which accounted for almost half of the massive figure.
Moreover, Poland was actively stocking up on gas before getting cut off by Russia, with German Gascade reporting a major spike in reverse gas flow in late April. Moscow stopped the gas supply to the country last month following Warsaw’s refusal to pay for fuel in rubles under a new scheme rolled out by Russia in response to the European sanctions.
Nnamdi Maduakor is a Writer, Investor and Entrepreneur