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Poland to back Ukraine in gas crisis

As European gas supplies continue to shrink amid the gas crisis and freezing weather, Polish President Kaczyński weighed deeper into the escalating row between Russia and Ukraine by saying Poland should stand by Ukraine.

He also accused the EU of being “too soft” on Russia. By contrast, Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski a few hours later warned against “hotting up the complex issue.” The divergent remarks are a latest instance of the President and the government clashing on foreign policy, and come a week before Ukraine's President Viktor Yuschenko is due to visit Poland. While stressing the need for restraint and the necessity of a compromise, Sikorski added that Poland would help Ukraine present its case in the row, and said that the crisis highlighted the need to diversify not just the routes, but also the sources of Poland's gas supplies. As gas is cut off to the Balkan's, Iran has offered to boost supplies via Turkey. In the meantime URE, the energy regulator, warned that gas supplies are now down 19%. (Warsaw Business Journal)