Azerbaijan energy partner to Poland

Poland supports the Azeri drive to join European nations as a reliable and diverse energy partner, Poland's Ambassador to Azerbaijan Kshishtof Krayevski said.

Krayevski said in an interview with Azeri news agency Today.Az that 2008 was a significant year for strengthening relations between Warsaw and Baku, noting the participation of Polish President Lech Kaczynski at a major energy summit in Baku in November.

"We always support Azerbaijan's intention to integrate with the Euro-Atlantic structures; we are cooperating in the sphere of diversification of energy supplies to Europe," the envoy said.

Europe put renewed focus on energy diversity in 2008. January 2009 brought increased emphasis on that goal following a decision by Russia to halt gas supplies to Europe following a debt row with Ukraine.

The envoy addressed the crisis, noting that while Warsaw and Moscow are important partners in the energy sector, the European Union needs to focus on alternative gas routes as 80 percent of the Russian gas for Europe travels through Ukraine.

"I think the conflict between Russia and Ukraine proved the importance and the need to diversify energy supplies," he said. "It turned out that Europe, including the EU states such as Poland, Slovakia and Bulgaria, are too dependent on supplies from Russia."

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