The bloc was seduced by Moscow's cheap energy supplies, according to the Polish prime minister
Europe allowed itself to grow dependent on Russian energy like a drug addict, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Monday.
Speaking at a conference in Warsaw on efforts to support Ukraine, Morawiecki suggested that the EU got hooked on Russian natural resources, with Moscow doing its best to enable the addiction. "The dealer always gives the first dose for free or very cheap so that the addict comes for more and agrees to any price," he said.
As a result, the prime minister stated, gas contracts with Russia "turned out to be a pact under which Europe sold its soul." The continent was "so easily seduced by Russia" not through "demonic abilities," but rather because of its own weakness, he claimed.
At the same time, Morawiecki said the Ukraine conflict had awakened many countries "from their geopolitical slumber." As the fighting rages, the West stands at a crossroads: "either the victory of Russia and the defeat of the West, or the renaissance of Western civilization," he asserted.
"Today it is not enough for us to talk about rebuilding Europe, today we have to think about rebuilding Europe so that peace and security become permanent foundations for development for many decades," Morawiecki stressed.
Since the start of Moscow's military operation in Ukraine in February 2022, the EU has committed to completely weaning itself off Russian energy by 2030. It intends to double down on the use of green energy and secure oil and gas supplies of non-Russian origin. In particular, the bloc has resorted to importing liquified natural gas (LNG) from the US.
However, in October, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire accused the US of capitalizing on the EU's economic woes, saying that it sells its LNG "at four times the price that it sets for its own industrialists."
Commenting on the bloc's push to reduce dependence on Russian energy, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said in December that the EU was only replacing one "addiction" with another while filling Washington's coffers with billions of dollars.