Russia stops gas supplies to Poland

Posted Apr 26, 2022 8:59pm

The tension rises by another level. The Russian gas producer Gazprom will stop its deliveries to Poland via the Yamal gas pipeline from this Wednesday, the Polish gas company PGNiG announced. The company condemned the decision, which was judged to be in breach of the contract with Gazprom, but said the country was ready to source the missing gas from other sources.

Poland imported 57% of its gas and 60% of its oil from Russia last year. Giving up Russian gas overnight will therefore not be an easy task. But Poland’s energy supply is secure, the climate ministry said in Warsaw, adding there was no need to draw on gas reserves and consumer access would not be cut off.

Refusal to pay in rubles

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. But while the contract with Russia initially expires at the end of the year, Poland has reiterated that it will not meet Russian demands for payment terms and will not renew this contract.

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.

At the forefront of aid to Ukraine

Poland, which is already hosting large numbers of Ukrainian refugees fleeing the fighting, is also at the forefront of helping Ukraine resist the Russian invasion and is therefore already in Russia’s sights. Warsaw has provided its ally with $1.6 billion worth of weapons to help it deal with the Russian invasion, Poland’s prime minister said over the weekend. Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, the Polish government has said it has brought anti-tank missiles, anti-aircraft missiles, mortars, ammunition and drones. Forty tanks and about sixty armored vehicles would also be part of the equipment delivered from Poland to Kyiv, according to Polish media, but the government does not officially confirm this. Not to mention that arms shipments from the United States, Germany and other NATO countries to which Poland belongs partially pass through this border, since Poland shares a border with Ukraine.

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