Moscow has Stopped Supplying gas to Poland and Bulgaria
Gazprom stops all gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria, as Poland had refused to comply with Russia’s demand for payment in rubles. President Morawiecki speaks of a possible attempt at blackmail.
The Russian state-owned company Gazprom will stop all gas deliveries to Bulgaria and Poland from Wednesday. The Bulgarian gas company Bulgargaz has been informed that Gazprom will suspend natural gas supplies from April 27, the Ministry of Economy in Sofia said. The Bulgarian government rejected the Russian proposal to pay for the gas in a two-step procedure. It argued that this violates existing contracts and poses a significant risk for Bulgaria. Among other things, there is a risk that Bulgaria will pay but not be supplied.
With the help of state-owned companies, alternatives to Russian deliveries are being sought. With around 6.5 million inhabitants, Bulgaria covers more than 90 per cent of its gas needs from Russian imports. The government assured that there would be no restrictions on the supply of gas to private households for the time being. Poland sees breach of contract Poland had previously reported Gazprom’s announcement that Russian gas supplies would be stopped via the Yamal pipeline. The Polish natural gas company PGNiG announced in Warsaw that it had been informed by the Russian natural gas company Gazprom. According to PGNiG, this is a breach of contract for which damages can be claimed. The group will also take steps to secure the gas supply in accordance with the contractual agreements. PGNiG has long-term contracts with Gazprom that expire this year.
In March, Russia had threatened to turn off the gas supply to European countries if they did not pay for their imports in rubles. Poland then stated several times that it did not want to comply with the request. For its part, the European Commission has asked gas importers in the EU to continue paying in the contractually agreed currency.