Russia is shutting off gas to Poland and Bulgaria, two EU and NATO countries

It is a real thunderbolt that resonates in the European Union. Russia will cut gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria, two member states of the EU and NATO. That The Polish company PGNiG announced this Tuesday after being informed by Russian gas giant Gazprom that its gas supplies through the Yamal gas pipeline would be suspended from Wednesday morning. A decision denounced by Warsaw, but which indicated it had sufficient reserves. Poland’s energy supply is indeed secure, he said Anna Moskvathe Minister of Climate in Warsaw, adding that there is no need to resort to gas reserves and that consumer access will not be interrupted.

“From the first day of the war we declared that we are ready for complete independence from Russian raw materials (…) There will be no shortage of gas in Polish households,” wrote the Polish climate minister on Twitter.

Data from European Union gas network operators showed reduced flows over the Yamal gas pipeline, which connects Belarus with Poland, during the day.

Amid tensions with westerners over the conflict in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin has urged countries deemed “unfriendly” to pay for gas supplies in rubles through a new system.

Gazprom said later in the day that Poland must start complying with the new payment method immediately. The Russian giant gave no further details and did not mention PGNiG’s press release mentioning the possible suspension of gas supplies.

HASWhen the contract with Russia was originally due to expire at the end of the year, Poland reiterated that it would not meet Russian demands for payment terms. She also announced that she would not renew this contract.

In a statement, PGNiG condemned Gazprom’s decision, which was seen as a breach of contract, and said it intends to take steps to restore those gas supplies and is entitled to seek compensation.

Earlier in the day, Warsaw 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 90% dependent on Russian gas

In Bulgaria, too, Bulgargas received notification that Gazprom supplies will be suspended from April 27, 2022,” the Bulgarian Ministry of Economy announced a little later, while this Balkan country is more than 90% dependent on Russian gas.

“Actions to find alternative arrangements for the supply of natural gas and to deal with the situation” have been taken, the Bulgarian government emphasized in a press release, assuring that “at the moment” no measure is planned for consumption.

After imposing sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, the Kremlin warned EU countries that unless they paid in rubles from Russian accounts, their gas supplies would be cut off.

However, Moscow clarified that the price of gas will remain in the currency of the current contracts, mostly euros or dollars, and that customers in Russia would have to carry out a simple exchange transaction.

“The Bulgarian side has fully fulfilled its obligations and made all contractually agreed payments on time,” the government reacted.

And to denounce “the new two-stage payment procedure proposed by the Russian side”.

“It does not fulfill the existing contract by the end of this year and poses significant risks for the Bulgarian side, especially paying without gas delivery from the Russian side,” he said.

Decisions that inevitably worry Germany, whose gas imports accounted for 55% of pre-war imports.