Poland could handle being cut off from Russian supplies of natural gas by turning to other sources and improving domestic infrastructure, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said Wednesday.
"The current gas reserves and the fact that winter is coming to an end allow us to say that Poland is no longer vulnerable to possible gas sanctions on the part of our neighbour to the east," Tusk told parliament.
The EU country of 38 million currently imports 10.5 billion cubic metres of gas from Russia each year, about two-thirds of its demand.
Starting next month, Poland's imports "from alternative sources to the west" will reach 5.5 billion cubic metres thanks to a new transfer station on the German border, Tusk said.
Other links to German and Czech networks, as well as the development of domestic infrastructure such as a huge pumping station in central Wloclawek to open in January 2015 will raise supplies to 10.5 billion cubic metres, he said.
Moscow has been frequently accused of using its gas exports as a diplomatic weapon aimed at influencing decisions of ex-Soviet nations that rely on Russian gas and contemplate closer relations with the West.
A cut in supplies via Ukraine would hit central and southern European countries hardest, as most depend for much if not nearly all of their gas via pipelines which pass through the country.
Warsaw vehemently opposed the Nord Stream pipeline that takes natural gas from near Saint Petersburg to Germany under the Baltic Sea.
Poland has invested heavily in shale gas exploitation, which accounts for about 2.0 billion cubic metres of its supplies, according to the Poland's National Geological Institute.
The eastern European powerhouse is also nearing completion of a maritime liquefied natural gas terminal on the Baltic coast.