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Poland closes zone around LNG terminal, cites Russian threat

Poland will introduce a temporary 200-meter exclusion zone around its Świnoujście Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) terminal on Thursday, citing concerns about Russian espionage.

The exclusion will not affect the terminal’s operations, Poland’s gas pipeline operator said of the plant located on the Baltic coast.

A staunch ally of Ukraine and a hub for deliveries of weapons to Kyiv’s armed forces, Poland says it has regularly found itself the target of Russian efforts to destabilize the country.

In March Poland said it broke up a Russian espionage network that it said was preparing acts of sabotage and was monitoring rail routes to Ukraine.

“Actions are being taken to strengthen the protection of critical infrastructure, in which the LNG terminal in Świnoujście occupies a strategic place,” Interior Minister Mariusz Kamiński said in a statement.

“The experiences of past months, including damage to the Nord Stream gas pipeline … mean important decisions must be taken to ensure the security of the Polish state and Poles,” he conveyed.

Iwona Dominiak, a spokesperson for pipeline company Gaz-System, told Reuters that the announcement had no impact on the terminal’s operations and that tankers were being handled as planned.

Poland has turned to seaborne LNG delivered to Świnoujście to replace gas from Russia. It has also started to receive pipeline gas from Norway via Denmark and the Baltic Sea.

Russia cut gas supplies to Poland in April last year when the country refused to pay in rubles.

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