All posts tagged "poland"

Poland to become independent of Russian oil and gas by end of 2022

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki speaks during a press conference in Warsaw. Poland will take measures to become independent of Russian oil and gas by the end of 2022 in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced on Wednesday. Kay Nietfeld/dpa

Poland will take measures to become independent of Russian oil and gas by the end of 2022 in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced on Wednesday.

While the country is already broadly independent of Russian supply, Poland now intends to put forward the most radical plan of any European country to wean itself off Russian imports entirely, Morawiecki said.

He added that independence from Russian oil and gas would partly be achieved by focusing on renewable energies.

"Thanks to these energy sources we will make ourselves independent from Russian oil and Russian gas, but also from other countries that pose no threat to us," he said, as currently the only way to replace "very expensive Russian gas" was with "very expensive Norwegian gas."

In the long run, Morawiecki said, he did not want to buy gas from the "rich Norwegians" anymore.

Polands national-conservative Law and Justice party (Polish: PiS) has been demanding a European embargo on Russian oil, gas and coal since the start of Russia's invasion.

On Tuesday, the government in Warsaw had already announced that they would stop importing coal from Russia.

"We called on the EU Commission to act decisively in the first days of this war. Unfortunately the EU Commission did not reach a decision, so now we will decide for ourselves," Morawiecki had said on Tuesday.

He hoped that coal imports from Russia would cease in April, but at the latest they would stop in May. Instead, Poland will look to Australia, South Africa, and Columbia for its coal imports.

Currently, the country produces nearly 80% of its energy from hard coal and brown coal. Climate Minister Anna Moskwa said that plans to phase out coal by 2049 remained unchanged.

'I fear for my husband,' Ukraine's first lady says

In a written exchange from an undisclosed location, Olena Zelenska, Ukraine's first lady, told ABC News that she fears for the safety of her husband, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and blames the West for allowing Russian President Vladimir Putin to become increasingly vicious. “As every woman in Ukraine, now I fear for my husband,” Zelenska said. The 44-year-old wife of Ukraine’s president said she calls her husband every morning, but only after praying for his well-being. She also said she knows her spouse of 18 years is strong and capable of defending the country he loves. Zelenska called Russia’s at...

14th Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden: ‘I really want to connect with as many people as possible’

CHICAGO — If it’s been said once, it’s been said many times. There’s just something about Chicago — you just have to see the number of former/native members of our community making moves in other cities and venues, including those helming some of the country’s notable archives at institutions in Washington, D.C. Native Chicagoan and former executive director of University of Chicago’s Black Metropolis Research Consortium Tamar Evangelestia-Dougherty was recently appointed director of the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives. Evangelestia-Dougherty joins Lonnie Bunch, secretary of the Smithsonian...

Calls grow for pressure on Belarus as Polish border situation worsens

Migrants stand behind the barbed wire border between Poland and Belarus near the Kusnica border crossing. The migration crisis at the Poland-Belarus border with refugees trying to enter the European Union via Belarus worsened on Monday, with Belarusian authorities saying that many hundreds of migrants had arrived at the border, and Poland reporting that some had already tried to break through. Michael Kappeler/dpa

Chaotic scenes were reported from the Polish-Belarusian border on Wednesday, hours after two large groups of migrants that had been stopped from moving further westwards reportedly broke through into Poland.

Polish officials then reported that members of the Belarusian security forces had fired their weapons, apparently in an attempt to scare the massed migrants. The Polish Defence Ministry released a six-second video clip on Twitter in which a shot can be heard, followed by screams.

It also said reported that Belarusian officials were exercising violence against the migrants.

Poland is refusing to let the migrants onto its territory and has sent hundreds of reinforcements to the border in recent weeks. It has also erected a barbed wire fence, in an effort to stop any attempts by migrants to break through.

Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko demanded on Tuesday that they be allowed through into Poland. He said in an interview they mainly wanted to settle in Germany, not Poland.

The European Union has accused Minsk of helping migrants trying to reach the bloc's external borders in Poland, Latvia and Lithuania, as retaliation for Western sanctions on Belarus for political repression.

Amid the chaos at the border, several dozen people managed to destroy fences close to the villages of Krynki and Bialowieza and to cross the border, Polish news agency PAP reported late on Tuesday, citing the Bialystok local radio station.

The broadcaster cited a border force spokesperson saying that, in both cases, the fences and barriers were torn down.

Some migrants were taken back to Belarus, while others managed to flee, she said.

There are reportedly hundreds of people on the Belarusian side.

Lukashenko, who has been dubbed "Europe's last dictator," has denied deliberately flying people in from nations in crisis like Syria, Afghanistan, Libya and Iraq and then moving them towards the EU border.

The situation prompted exiled Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya to seek out a meeting with German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, who is in post-election talks that would make him the country's next chancellor.

According to her channel on messaging service Telegram, it was important for her that the EU shows a "unified and resolute position" in its dealings with Belarus on the matter.

She also demanded pressure on Lukashenko, including sanctions. She also said she plans to meet with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and other government ministers.

The talks with Scholz also touched on political prisoners in Belarus and the growing repression there. She has repeatedly argued that the border crisis with Poland cannot be separated from the political problems in Belarus.

She also called for an end to the deadly violence at the border.

"The regime carries the full responsibility for this," she said.

The EU is currently planning fresh sanctions against Belarus, principally to target state airline Belavia for allegedly transporting migrants to Belarus.

Polish army vehicles stand on the barbed wire border between Poland and Belarus near the Kusnica border crossing. The migration crisis at the Poland-Belarus border with refugees trying to enter the European Union via Belarus worsened on Monday, with Belarusian authorities saying that many hundreds of migrants had arrived at the border, and Poland reporting that some had already tried to break through. Michael Kappeler/dpa
Polish army vehicles stand on the barbed wire border between Poland and Belarus near the Kusnica border crossing. The migration crisis at the Poland-Belarus border with refugees trying to enter the European Union via Belarus worsened on Monday, with Belarusian authorities saying that many hundreds of migrants had arrived at the border, and Poland reporting that some had already tried to break through. Michael Kappeler/dpa

Pope accepts resignation of Polish bishop accused of abuse cover-up

Pope Francis delivers Regina Caeli Prayer in Vatican - Pope Francis delivers Regina Caeli prayer from the window overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican . - Evandro Inetti/ZUMA Wire/dpa

The Holy See has accepted the resignation of the bishop of the Polish city of Bydgoszcz, Jan Tyrawa, over alleged negligence in the face of sex abuse accusations against priests subordinate to him, a Vatican diplomat said on Wednesday.

Tyrawa tendered his resignation after the end of a Vatican investigation, which looked into accusations of the sexual abuse of minors committed by priests in Tyrawa's diocese, papal Nuncio Salvatore Pennacchio wrote in a statement.

An interim administrator of the diocese has been appointed in place of the outgoing bishop.

In late March, the Vatican punished two other Polish bishops for the same reason.

Following investigations, Slawoj Leszek Glodz, archbishop emeritus of the Gdansk archdiocese, and Edward Janiak, former bishop of Kalisz, have been ordered to live outside of their dioceses and were banned from participating in any public religious celebrations or lay gatherings there.

Late last year, a now-deceased Polish cardinal Henryk Gulbinowicz was also symbolically penalized for his role in sex abuse scandals.

All three had to donate to a Church-run foundation that supports sex abuse victims.

The problem of sex abuse within the Polish Catholic church, including of minors, returned to the spotlight in recent years following a series of TV documentaries and media reports about abuse and cover-up attempts.

Pentagon chief: U.S. to increase military support to Poland and Baltic states

The United States plans to expand military cooperation with Poland and Baltic states to show "support" for its allies after Russia's intervention in Ukraine, Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel said Wednesday.

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Poland's Catholic Church rejects damages request in pedophile case

Poland's powerful Roman Catholic Church on Thursday rejected a first-ever request for damages by a victim of a convicted paedophile priest, opening the door to legal action, judicial officials said.

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Polish Muslims call national Halal slaughter ban illegal under EU law

Poland's Muslim community on Tuesday said a controversial nationwide ban on halal and kosher slaughter, which has spurred intense debate at home and abroad, was invalid under European law.

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Poles turn to Internet to circumvent new pet breeding laws

Poles have turned to cyberspace to circumvent a new animal rights law in Poland forbidding the sale of dogs and cats without a breeding licence, which had been intended to stamp out cruelty to animals.

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