Plans to “blame” the economy and resist Moscow’s “gas blackmail.”

Poland is the most advanced country to welcome Ukrainian refugees (see box below). It is also one of the most threatened countries by Russia, and its neighbors have done great harm throughout history and have virtually always evoked distrust. And with the new world order that emerged after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the accompanying western sanctions on Moscow, Poland wants to break away from its economic dependence on Russia. This Friday, Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Moravietski not only “blames the Polish and European economies,” but also curbs inflation, protects employment and “gas blackmail from Moscow.”

“Poland is at the forefront of all countries today trying to inspire others to break away from Russia’s dependence on gas, oil and coal, so we work to blame the economies of Poland and Europe. “The head of the Polish government said at a press conference. He identified the purpose of the “anti-Putin shield” as to resist “the effects of Putin’s gas extortion”, and in particular “to prevent food prices from rising.”

As a result, the state will invest 3 billion zloty (€ 636 million) in the state-owned company Gaz-System. Gaz-System builds and operates a gas pipeline and gas terminal at the port of Swinoujscie in the western part of the country. Gaz-System, in particular, is building a Baltic pipe gas pipeline that will bring Norwegian gas to Poland by the end of the year and reduce its dependence on Russian gas.

Fight inflation

The Prime Minister of Poland announced last Saturday that the temporary measures taken at the end of November to combat high inflation will be extended. These measures specifically consisted of a series of temporary tax cuts. Inflation protection shields strengthened at the beginning of February significantly reduced gas VAT (from February 1st 23% to 8%, then 0%). Value-added taxes on electricity, fuel, heating and fertilizer have also been reduced. Inflation is rising rapidly in Poland (which reached 9.2% in January) and last Monday Zloty hit the iconic threshold of 5 zloty at 1 euro before rising slightly. .. The National Bank of Poland (NBP) recently announced that it will raise the main key rate from the previous 2.75% to 3.50%.

New measures

Therefore, in order to curb food prices that are already skyrocketing, the state will be affected by rising fertilizer prices and will receive an allowance of 500 zloty (about 100 euros) per hectare of cultivated land and half of this amount per hectare. I plan to pay the farmers. Of the meadow. This aid is limited to 50 hectares per farm.

The amount is reminiscent of a “more than 500” allowance per child, a major measure of the conservative government that has been in power in Poland since 2015.

Among other sectors of the economy affected by the war in Ukraine and the consequences of Western sanctions against Russia, Mateusz Moraviecki has carried out road transport, a region where Poland has a very strong presence in Europe. I quoted it.

Asked about Russia’s coal purchases and the possibility of an embargo, he said he was “waiting for a brave decision from the European Commission” and Poland sought supply from South Africa, Australia, Colombia and the United States. Pointed out that. It’s not black mail. “

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Two-thirds of Ukrainian refugees are in Poland

According to the Polish border guard, the number of people arriving in Poland from Ukraine to escape the Russian invasion exceeded 2 million on Friday. They are mainly women with children. Comparing this figure with the total number of Ukrainian refugees released by the United Nations shows that two in three have entered Poland. However, many of them are about to continue their journey to Western Europe and Canada. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the total number of refugees fleeing Russia’s invasion in Ukraine exceeded 3.1 million on Thursday. They are overwhelmingly Ukrainian citizens. However, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Wednesday that about 162,000 third-country citizens had fled Ukraine.

The United Nations has also identified approximately 2 million internally displaced persons. Recently, Polish authorities have noted a decline in the number of new arrivals. Therefore, the figures recorded between 23:00 GMT and 6:00 GMT on Friday were 41% lower than the figures for the same period the previous day. And on Thursday, the overall decline for the day was 11%. In addition, 227,000 people have crossed the Polish-Ukrainian border in the opposite direction since the start of the Russian attack on February 24.

In Poland, a large influx of Ukrainians was welcomed by society and authorities. Starting Wednesday, Ukrainians will be able to formally register with the municipality in which they live, especially to benefit from access to medical services and to provide temporary school education to their children.

(With AFP)