Poland wants complete EU gas ban on Russia, says Polish minister after talks with Austria

Poland stresses to Austria the need for more sanctions on Russia during a rare visit from Austria’s foreign minister

editor: Grzegorz Adamczyk
author: Adam Zygiel
Source: Polish FM.

The EU must begin working on a seventh sanctions package on Russia, said Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau while speaking after Tuesday’s meeting with his Austrian counterpart Alexander Schallenberg.

Rau said that there is a need for these sanctions to cover all Russian gas and petrochemical exports in addition to cutting off all Russian and Belarusian banks from the SWIFT system. 

Poland’s top diplomat reiterated his country’s support for Kyiv and the conviction that Ukraine’s place is inside the EU.

“This is why we expect the European Commission to recommend that Ukraine be made a candidate country and that the European Council approves that,” Rau added, saying that Poland’s support for Ukrainian accession has in no way weakened Poland’s support for EU enlargement to the Western Balkans. 

Schallenberg replied that although his country was unhappy at being dependent on Russian gas, it could not change that overnight. He stressed that countries that are landlocked all have problems with energy supplies. He also said that Europe cannot forget about other countries aspiring to EU membership, such as Moldova and the countries of the Western Balkans. 

Austria’s top diplomat underlined that he had come to Warsaw to pay homage to Poles and Poland for the help they have offered Ukraine and Ukrainians.

“This is something remarkable, and we have the highest respect for you. Poland is a hub for Western assistance to Ukraine,“ he said. Austria itself has received 300,000 Ukrainian refugees.

Schallenberg appealed for European unity in the face of the Russian invasion and for Europe to never forget about its values. 

Rau welcomed the visit by Schallenberg, as it was the first such visit by an Austrian foreign minister in eight years. Rau also noted that Austria was the fifth-largest investor in Poland, prompting Schallenberg to chime in, saying that Austria had ambitions to be the third-largest investor in Poland and that Austria has 515 businesses in the country, some of which have been working in Poland for 25 or even 30 years. 

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