Britain’s energy secretary, Ed Davey, has hailed a European deal on climate change as a blow to Vladimir Putin that will reduce the region’s dependence on Russian gas imports.

The conflict in Ukraine has highlighted Europe’s dependency on Russia, which supplies 30 per cent of its gas. Policy makers in Brussels are increasingly tailoring their moves to wean themselves off foreign suppliers.

Mr Davey said the deal agreed after hours of talks in Brussels would lower the EU’s gas imports from Russia 12 per cent by 2030. “This is a big shot across his bows,” Mr Davey said, referring to the Russian president. “We are strategically moving away. Europe will not be as dependent on Mr Putin as before and I think that’s a very important national security and energy security message.”

Russia is scornful of the EU’s claims that it will reduce dependence on Gazprom, Moscow’s gas export monopoly. Moscow argues that Russia will become an even more important supplier as Europe’s domestic reserves of gas fall. Russian officials also argue that environmental regulations will accelerate power generation from gas in Europe – rather than from coal and crude oil.

Mr Davey said the new deal “lays down the gauntlet” for the US, China and other big greenhouse gas emitters to say what they will offer at next year’s Paris climate summit, adding that the UK believed that the EU should be ready to cut emissions 50 per cent if other countries came to the table.

The 28-member bloc agreed on Friday to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 by at least 40 per cent from 1990 levels – the first time any leading economies have shown how far they are willing to cut emissions in international negotiations due to seal a global climate accord.

The talks had seemed at risk of failure because coal-dependent Poland and other eastern EU nations argued that a 40 per cent cut would affect them disproportionately, driving up energy prices and sapping industrial competitiveness.

The talks degenerated into a fight over how eastern Europe would be compensated. Warsaw expressed scepticism that plans to pay Poland with allowances from the EU’s dysfunctional market for carbon, where prices have collapsed since 2008, would generate enough money to offset increased energy costs.

However, after all-night negotiations, Poland declared themselves happy with the EU’s proposed compensation measures.

“No one got compensated like we did,” Ewa Kopacz, Poland’s prime minister, said after the summit. Poland’s environment ministry also hailed the deal as “even better than we had hoped for”.

Several officials said Donald Tusk, Poland’s former prime minister and Herman Van Rompuy’s successor as president of the European Council, had wanted to secure a deal so that thorny climate change talks did not drag on as an embarrassment during his presidency.

But despite Poland’s claims of victory, diplomats said it was almost impossible to put a value on the compensation due to eastern European states – estimating it as “billions or tens of billions”.

The uncertainty comes because big payments to central Europe would require a revival of rock-bottom carbon prices, which cannot be guaranteed.

Mr Davey said Poland did not get everything it wanted because what Warsaw had sought “above all” was a continuation of free carbon emissions allowances for their coal industry.

“We were not keen on that and what’s been agreed has been a much lower level of free allowances,” he told the Financial Times.

“It wasn’t exactly what we wanted with Poland but Poland could feel its specific interests had been at least considered and we could feel that environmentally speaking this has moved on.”

One Polish diplomat said Warsaw had been assured that the funds Poland will get under the deal could be used to upgrade basic but dilapidated infrastructure at coal mines and not just high-technology developments such as carbon-capture devices.

However, the Emissions Trading System, the EU’s carbon market, is struggling to function effectively. It is the world’s biggest cap and trade system – covering more than 11,000 power stations and factories, which have to buy extra allowances if they want to increase carbon output above their limits. Prices have collapsed to about €6, from €30 in 2008, because of a decline in industrial demand undercutting a market that had already been glutted with excess allowances.

In order to persuade the central Europeans that the carbon price can be revived, Britain and Germany are seeking to accelerate the implementation of a market reform that will remove excess allowances. If this reform of the market begins in 2017 rather than 2021, it will make the 2030 climate deal far more attractive in eastern Europe.

Thomson Reuters Point Carbon, a research group, estimates that it could help restore carbon prices to €48 by 2030. Mr Davey said it would probably take 18 months before the reforms were agreed.

Carbon prices hit a seven-week high on news of the EU climate deal, amid expectations that the deal only makes sense with higher prices. Philipp Ruf, carbon analyst at Icis Tschach, said that the deal showed that Brussels had committed to make the carbon market “the cornerstone of EU policies to combat climate change”.

By Christian Oliver in Brussels, Pilita Clark in London and Henry Foy in Warsaw