A Polish-owned oil refinery in Lithuania is a key contributor to the region’s energy security amid belligerent policies from Russia, the Polish prime minister said on Sunday.
Speaking at the Orlen Lietuva refinery in Mažeikiai, north-western Lithuania, Mateusz Morawiecki said the plant, operated by Polish fuel giant Orlen, was crucial for the energy security as well as geopolitical interests of Poland and the Baltic states.
“It is sometimes difficult to see things in a wider perspective: oil is not an ordinary resource; it is not an ordinary commodity; it is a commodity that largely determines geopolitics," Morawiecki said, as quoted by Poland’s PAP news agency.
At a joint a press conference with his Lithuanian counterpart Saulius Skvernelis, Morawiecki added: "I am very glad that geopolitics is connecting us more and more with Lithuania -- through the Mažeikiai refinery here -- but also with Latvia and Estonia as well as other countries via exports.”
He stressed the role played by former Polish President Lech Kaczyński in Orlen acquiring a controlling stake in the refinery from Russia's Yukos in 2006, Poland’s PAP news agency reported.
“It took Lech Kaczyński’s courage, determination, imagination and strategic vision to predict just how important these business ties between our countries will prove to be in strengthening political, energy, financial as well as economic security," he said.
Morawiecki was in Lithuania en route to Estonia, where he was later on Sunday scheduled to attend commemorations of that country regaining independence 100 years ago, PAP reported.