Russian energy group Gazprom today announced the suspension of gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria after it failed to receive payment in rubles from the two EU member countries (European Union).
Gazprom said in a statement that it had notified Bulgaria’s Bulgargaz and Poland’s PGNiG of the “suspension of gas supplies from 27 April and until payment is made in rubles”.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said in March that the country would only accept payment for gas supplies in national currency, in response to sanctions adopted against Moscow to punish the Kremlin’s offensive in Ukraine.
Gazprom reported that as of last night it had not received payment for the April gas supply from either Bulgargaz or PGNiG.
“Bulgaria and Poland are transit countries. In case of unauthorized withdrawal of Russian gas between quantities in transit to third countries, transit shipments will be reduced by the same quantities,” the Russian company warned.
PGNiG confirmed the “total suspension of the supply of natural gas sent by Gazprom”.
“The situation does not affect the current supply of PGNiG customers who receive fuel on demand,” the company said in a statement.
Poland and Bulgaria, two countries heavily dependent on Russian gas, said Tuesday night that they had been notified by Gazprom of the suspension.
The two members of NATO and the European Union said they are willing to obtain the necessary gas from other sources.
The EU said it was prepared for the possible interruption of Russian gas and was preparing “a coordinated response”, declared the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.
“Gazprom’s announcement is a new attempt by Russia to blackmail with gas. We are prepared for this scenario. We are working out the coordinated European response. Europeans can be sure that we are united and in solidarity with the affected member states.” wrote Von der Leyen on Twitter.