Poland sets exclusion zone around Swinoujscie LNG terminal
WARSAW, April 12 (Reuters) - Poland will introduce a temporary 200 metre exclusion zone around its Swinoujscie Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) terminal on Thursday, the interior minister said on Wednesday, citing concerns about Russian espionage.
The exclusion zone for members of the public will not affect the terminal's operations, Poland's gas pipeline operator said of the plant located on the Baltic coast.
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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 destabilise 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 Swinoujscie occupies a strategic place," Mariusz Kaminski 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 added.
Iwona Dominiak, a spokesperson for pipeline company Gaz-System, told Reuters that the announcement had no impact on the terminal's operations and tankers were being handled as planned.
Poland has turned to seaborne LNG delivered to Swinoujscie 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 Poland refused to pay in roubles.
(Reporting by Alan Charlish and Marek Strzelecki Editing by John Stonestreet and David Goodman )