The Polish company PGNiG stated at the end of the day on Tuesday April 26 that it had been informed by the Russian oil giant Gazprom that its gas supplies through the Yamal gas pipeline would be suspended from the following morning. Data from gas network operators in the European Union today showed reduced flows through this gas pipeline connecting Belarus with Poland.
The Polish company said it intends to take measures to restore those gas supplies by the end of the year, when the contract expires, and not to renew it. For her, this verdict represents a breach of contract that binds her to Gazprom and gives her the right to seek damages.
sanctions against Gazprom
The announcement of the shutdown comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin has taken countries to court “unfriendly” – These include, but are not limited to, the United States, European Union (EU) members, the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Switzerland, Taiwan, South Korea, Norway and Australia – Pay for gas supplies in rubles through a new system. The decision to switch to ruble billing should allow Russia to prop up its sanctions-hit national currency, but will deprive it of a source of foreign currency. Already, Russia obliges its exporters, including Gazprom, to convert 80% of their sales into rubles.
Gazprom said later in the day that Poland must start complying with the new way of payment immediately, without mentioning the disruption to gas supplies. Poland responded that it would not comply with Russian demands, thereby reaffirming a position it had taken in the past.
The announcement also comes as Warsaw earlier in the day published a list of 50 Russian oligarchs and companies, including Gazprom, targeted with sanctions to freeze their assets under a law passed this month. This is a separate measure from the sanctions taken in coordination with the other countries of the European Union.
Bulgaria is also affected
Poland’s energy supply is not at risk, Poland’s climate ministry said, adding there is no need to draw on gas reserves and consumer access will not be cut off.
Bulgarga’s EAD also has “Received notification that Gazprom Export deliveries will be suspended from April 27, 2022”, the Bulgarian Ministry of Economy announced on Tuesday evening. A cut that could have further consequences: The Balkan country is heavily dependent on Russian gas.