Russia to cut Poland, Bulgaria gas over Ukraine
Published: 11:00 AM, 27 April 2022 Updated: 03:07 PM, 27 April 2022
A worker checks pipes at a gas compressor station on the Yamal-Europe pipeline near Nesvizh, some 130km (81 miles) southwest of Minsk, Belarus; Photo: Reuters, Vasily Fedosenko
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Russia has announced to halt gas supplies to two European countries – Poland and Bulgaria – on Wednesday, after blasts in a breakaway region of neighboring Moldova led Kyiv to accuse Moscow of seeking to expand the Ukraine war further into Europe.
Ukraine’s two allies, Poland and Bulgaria, said Russia’s state-owned energy giant Gazprom will cut off gas supplies from Wednesday.
The UK-based news outlet BBC reported this in a report on Wednesday.
Although Poland and Bulgaria have said Russia “halt gas supplies” to their countries, Moscow has not officially commented yet.
PGNIG, Poland’s state-owned gas company, said Moscow had cut off gas supplies to the country from 8 am local time on Wednesday. Bulgaria’s energy ministry said it had also been told by Gazprom that they would cut off gas supplies from Wednesday.
Recently, Moscow announced that it would oblige “non-friendly” countries to “pay in Russian rubles” instead of dollars if they wanted to buy Russian fuel. Otherwise, they announced to cut off gas supplies.
However, Poland and Bulgaria refused to accept Moscow’s terms. Gazprom then announced its decision to cut off gas supplies to both countries.
Poland is dependent on Russian gas company Gazprom for importing gas. However, even if the supply is suspended, it is not a threat to the country at the moment. The Polish company PGNIG says the reason is that they have “huge gas reserves” in their underground reserves. Besides, summer is coming, so the demand is low.
Poland has more alternative arrangements. The Baltic coast has a Piped Natural Gas (PNG) terminal. It has pipeline connections to Germany and the Czech Republic. If Russia really cut off gas supplies to Poland for the next few weeks, Warsaw could cut off supplies to large customers.
Bulgaria says it is trying to find alternative sources of gas. They have called Russia’s new payment system a violation of the current agreement.