In my opinion, the MOL, especially in the time of Viktor Urban, is an example of a very good attitude towards the Russians. First of all: I tore claws out of the hands of the Russians, the royal. Andrzej Szczęśniak, an expert on energy and fuel markets, said in an interview with the wPolityce.pl portal.

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wPolityce.pl: With regard to the merger between Orlen and Lotos, which became a reality yesterday, the opposition raises the “Russian thread”, that is, the question of the interest of the Ministry of Labor, in which there are no significant Russian shareholders at the moment. Despite this, politicians and commentators opposing the PiS government argue that this is evidence of its alleged orientation to Russia and the actual surrender of part of Lotus to Russia. In the meantime, I know you’ve written several times about how Hungary has fought over the years to get rid of the Russian shareholder in MOL, a Surgutneftegaz concern. It seems that Prime Minister Orban raised this issue while he was still an opposition politician, and he ended it after taking power?

Andrzej Szczęśniak: There is a “Russian thread” everywhere in our geographical area. In my opinion, the MOL, especially in the time of Viktor Urban, is an example of a very good attitude towards the Russians. First of all: I tore claws out of the hands of the Russians, the royal. It was a large operation, probably completed only in 2012, with the purchase of shares of the company from Russian hands with very decent money.

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In this way, the state has regained control of the national concern, because to some extent, MOL is compared to Orlen, even though on a national level it is much larger than our Orlen in terms of our economy. MOL is a good example in my opinion. It cooperates well with the state in its activities and geographic expansion, and in general with Russia also cooperates well, which is to the benefit of it. The Russian Federation is the main source of oil production for the concern, and today oil is the most profitable source of income.

However, Budapest seems to view Russia and Putin a little differently than Poland and the PiS government.

In fact, the Hungarians have a different policy towards Russia, quite unlike ours, while accusations of effects or influences are, in my opinion, a completely wrong course.

And to what extent can we talk now about the Russian influence in the concern of the Ministry of Labor? Because, in the opinion of opposition politicians, this is a sale of part of the Lotus to the Russians.

This is nonsense. Russia has influence everywhere, has spies everywhere, etc. They benefit greatly from economic cooperation with Russia. There is no evidence of political influence here, not even exercise.

Such accusations against the Polish government and Hungarian concerns were put forward by politicians who had, for example, an agreement with Gazprom unfavorable to Poland, who saw nothing wrong with the possibility of selling the entire Lotus to the Russians (although this sale ultimately did not ), they also said about the sale of the Możejki refinery to the Russians. On the other hand, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is presented as “Putin’s man”, while Western European countries also cooperate and benefit from Russia economically, and some politicians from Western countries, after ending their political career, are looking for work either in Nord Stream 2 or Becoming a lobbyist in Gazprom

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I’m kind of concerned about Polish companies as we don’t have supervisory boards, boards of directors, institutes, etc. Serious politicians, Europeans, will defend our interests. Western companies have bundles of them. They defend their interests, like Schroeder on Nord Stream. All major Western corporations, including American corporations, have hired unemployed European politicians. Even former British Prime Minister Tony Blair – although this is a scandalous example rather than a model – is such a politician hired by Western corporations to promote their interests. I am afraid that Poland does not have the kind of ambassadors that they can “hire” or appoint to defend our interests,

Finally: the sale of part of Lotos shares to a foreign company was a requirement of the European Commission. And if the Hungarians raise any objections, who will we make such a deal?

In my opinion, the Hungarians are good leaders. MOL is a very efficient company that is likely to cooperate well with the Polish country, also because of our relationships. Perhaps building an enemy of the country with which we have the best relations in Europe for being pro-Russian is a mental fascination.

Yes, with Urban, we adopt different policies, because no two countries in the world follow the same policy. But if a politician who says he is more extreme than the ruling party in the ruling party is speaking such nonsense, I don’t understand it.

It is difficult to find a better company than the Hungarian MOL in the region to cooperate with both Orlen and the Polish state, because here, of course, the political file too.

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Thank you very much for the interview.

Interview with Joanna Gasczuk