THE Poland and the Bulgaria said that the Russia it is cutting off the gas supply for the two countries of natoin the first actions of this type in the context of Ukraine war. The two nations refused the Kremlin’s demands that payment for the gas be made in rubles.
The governments of the two European countries said on Tuesday they had been informed by the Russian energy giant Gazprom that the gas supply would be interrupted. According to Poland’s state-owned gas company, PGNiG, deliveries through the Yamal-Europe pipeline would stop on Wednesday.
Poland has been a strong supporter of neighboring Ukraine during the Russian invasion. It is a transit point for weapons that U.S and other western nations supplied the Ukrainians.
The Polish government confirmed this week that it was sending tanks to the Kiev Army. On Tuesday, it announced a list of sanctions targeting 50 Russian oligarchs and companies, including Gazprom.
Europe imports large amounts of Russian natural gas to heat homes, generate electricity and fuel the fuel industry. Imports continued despite the war in Ukraine.
About 60% of imports are paid in euros and the rest in dollars. The Russian President, Vladimir Putinsaid last month that going forward, “hostile” foreign buyers would have to pay state-owned Gazprom in rubles.
Putin’s demand was apparently intended to help bolster the Russian currency amid the war in Ukraine. European leaders said they would not comply, arguing that the ruble requirement violated the terms of the contracts and their sanctions against Russia.
The Yamal pipeline transports natural gas from Russia to Poland and Germany via Belarus.
Poland has received about 9 billion cubic meters of Russian gas annually. Polish gas company PGNiG said Russia’s demand to be paid in rubles represented a breach of Yamal’s contract.
Flowcharts published on the website of the European Network of Operators of Gas Transmission Systems showed drastic drops in gas flows at entry points in Kondratki, a city in eastern Poland, and Vysokaye, Belarus.
Russian news agency Tass quoted Gazprom as saying that Poland must pay for its gas supplies under a new procedure.
It was already expected that Poland would have its gas supply interrupted by Russia. Polish Climate Minister Anna Moskwa stressed that Poland was prepared for such a situation after working for years to reduce its dependence on Russian energy sources.
She said the country has been effectively independent when it comes to Russian gas for some time. “There will be no shortage of gas in Polish homes,” Moskwa tweeted. The minister repeated that message at a press conference, saying: “The appropriate diversification strategies that we have introduced allow us to feel safe in this situation,” she said.
Poland has been working since the 1990s to get rid of Russian energy and was already on track to end its dependence on Russian gas this year. Recently, it decided to stop imports of Russian coal. The Warsaw government urged other European countries to lessen their dependence on Russian energy sources.
THE situation is more complicated in Bulgaria, almost entirely dependent on Russian gas imports. The country’s Ministry of Energy said it had taken steps to find alternative arrangements for the supply of natural gas and to deal with the situation.