Russia’s Gazprom halts gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria

Russian energy giant Gazprom said in a Wednesday statement It completely halted supplies to Polish gas company PGNiG and Bulgarian Bulgargaz after they refused to meet Moscow’s demand for payment in rubles rather than euros or dollars.
The European Commission described the decision to stop supplies as… Tried “blackmail” She is coordinating the response among the member states of the European Union.

“Europeans can trust that we stand united and fully in solidarity with the affected Member States in the face of this new challenge. Europeans can count on our full support,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement.

PGNiG said in a statement on Tuesday that Gazprom had informed it to suspend deliveries through the Yamal pipeline from Wednesday.

Gazprom He also told Bulgaria Gas that he would do so The Bulgarian Energy Ministry said in a statement that it had cut off gas supplies starting from Wednesday. The ministry said payment in rubles was unacceptable and posed “significant risks” to Bulgaria.

It said that the Bulgarian side “fullly fulfilled its obligations and made all the payments required under this contract in a timely manner, in earnest and in accordance with its terms.”

The news sent US natural gas futures prices up about 3% on Tuesday. European gas prices jumped nearly 20% on Wednesday morning, Reuters reported.

Russia delivered warning Last month, “unfriendly” countries said they would have to pay for their energy in rubles from April 1 or risk cutting off vital supplies. But the flow of gas continued until Wednesday.

The Kremlin said the gas payments delivered at the time of their announcement would be due at the end of April or the beginning of May, which is why Russia did not immediately stop the flow of gas to Europe.

Germany exports & # 39;  early warning & # 39 ;  of possible gas shortages as Russia threatens supplies
President Vladimir Putin’s Big Stakes Threat has sent shockwaves across Europe, which it can’t sustain running economy For a long time without Russian energy. Moscow has sent a clear signal that it may at some point reduce natural gas flows.

“Gazprom’s announcement of a unilateral halt to gas deliveries to customers in Europe is another attempt by Russia to use gas as a tool for blackmail.” von der Leyen said,. This is unjustified and unacceptable.”

It added that a gas crisis management group from EU member states and industry representatives would meet on Wednesday to discuss supply coordination.

No shortage yet

Poland and Bulgaria said they were preparing for the possibility of a Russian move, and that supplies to businesses and households were not affected.

“For the time being, no restrictive measures have been imposed on gas consumption in Bulgaria,” the Energy Ministry added.

PGNiG said it has made preparations to obtain gas from various sources, including through gas links on its western and southern borders and a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in the northwestern port city of Swinoujscie.

It also said that underground gas storage facilities were 80% full.

She added, “The balance sheet is supplemented by domestic gas production and fuel reserves accumulated in underground gas storage facilities. Currently, the level of warehouse filling is about 80 percent which is much higher than in the similar period in previous years.”

Polish Climate Minister Anna Moskowa said on Tuesday that there would be no shortage of gas in Poland despite the halt in Russian exports.

“Poland has the necessary gas reserves and supply sources that protect our security – we have been virtually independent from Russia for years,” she said on Twitter.

“There will be no shortage of gas in Polish homes,” the minister wrote.

CNN’s Anna Udziniak, Aliana Pavlova, Josh Pennington, and Angela Dewan contributed to this report.

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