Poland and Ukraine said Tuesday they are working toward developing a regional gas hub that would end Central and Eastern Europe's dependence on Russian supplies and keep prices in line with European standards.
The region still relies to some extent on Russian natural gas and has been exposed to political pressure from Moscow, which has at times in the past limited supply volumes or hiked gas prices. Governments in the region have been reducing their imports of gas from Russia and seeking other sources. They have also been trying to become more energy-efficient, a task Ukraine still needs to fully undertake.
Poland is increasingly importing gas from other regions. Its new liquefied natural gas port has received deliveries by sea from Qatar and is expecting a delivery from the United States this week. Poland is also proceeding with a project to bring in North Sea gas.
Poland is sending some of resources on to Ukraine, after the country cut imports from Russia in 2015.
Government officials participating in a Poland-Ukraine Gas Conference on Tuesday said the planned hub should be in place by 2022 on the Polish-Ukrainian border.
“We now have enough infrastructure to move onwards with the hub,” said Serhiy Makohon, deputy head of Ukraine's oil and gas company, Ukrtrans'haz.