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Poland Seals Deal To Buy LNG From U.S. To Ease Dependence On Moscow

The tanker Clean Ocean is pictured during the first U.S. delivery of liquefied natural gas to an LNG terminal in Swinoujscie, Poland, in June 2017.

Poland's state-run gas company says it has sealed a 20-year deal to buy liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States in a bid to reduce its dependence on Russian supplies.

"Today we can fulfill our efforts to improve the sovereignty, security, and competitiveness of our gas sector," Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told reporters in Warsaw on October 17.

Morawiecki said the contract will help reduce Poland's reliance on Russia's state-owned energy giant Gazprom.

U.S. Ambassador to Poland Georgette Mosbacher told the media the deal was part of an initiative by the Trump administration to establish the United States as the "world's largest LNG exporter."

The contract between the Polish Oil and Gas Company (PGNiG) and U.S.-based Venture Global LNG will provide Poland annually with up to 2 million tons of liquefied natural gas per year, a PGNiG statement said.

The quantity is the equivalent of 2.7 billion cubic meters of natural gas.

A value for the deal, initially agreed in June, was not provided.

The contract will come into full force in 2022, when Poland's current agreement with Gazprom for an annual 10 billion cubic meters of natural gas is set to conclude.

Poland currently relies on Russia for about two-thirds of its gas.

Domestic consumption represents a quarter of the Polish market.

The move comes a day after PGNiG filed a complaint with the European Union's top court against a deal by the European Commission to settle an antitrust case against Gazprom.

The deal, reached in May, allowed Gazprom to avoid billions of dollars in fines after Poland claimed it had abused its dominant position as a gas provider in their region.

With reporting by AFP
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