WARSAW. JUNE 1. INTERFAX C.NTRAL EUROPE - Poland is prepared in the event that the Russian Druzhba oil pipeline is shut down, as it can import oil via other routes, Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, together with Lithuanian counterpart Gediminas Kirkilas, told a press conference Friday, following a visit to top Polish fuel firm PKN Orlen.
"Regarding the Druzhba pipeline, there is the possibility that it will be shut down slowly or less slowly," Kaczynski said. "We are considering this, and this was the topic of our talks with PKN Orlen's management board."
"Poland has the technical capabilities to import oil through other routes," he added.
Kaczynski pointed out that Poland is making efforts on the international scene designed to have a European Union-Russian cooperation agreement make potentially harmful arbitrary decisions to partners impossible.
"Economic causes are not behind these problems," Kaczynski said. "They are of political character totally - this is politics understood in a wrong way."
In mid-2006 Russia shut down the part of the Druzhba oil pipeline that transports crude to Lithuanian refinery Mazeikiu Nafta, owned by PKN Orlen. Since then the Russians have repeated that the pipeline is in bad condition and may not be reparable. Additionally, Russia is considering shutting down the section of the Druzhba pipeline passing through Belarus and Poland for the same reason.
Lithuanian Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas said that Lithuania offered Russia technical assistance in repairing the broken pipeline and that it has also applied to the European Union Commission for support in solving the problem with the Russian pipeline.