Russia Halts Gas Supplies in order to Bulgaria and Poland

Gazprom blames Sofia and Warsaw’s failure to purchase fuel in rubles

Gazprom, Russia’s main natural gas supplier, has announced a complete halt in gas exports to Bulgaria and Belgium on Wednesday after the two countries refused to make payments in rubles.

According to the statement, supplies will not resume until Sofia and Warsaw comply with the new terms.

The Saint Petersburg-based energy giant warned which should Bulgaria and Poland begin siphoning off Russian transit gas intended for other nations, it will reduce supplies by amount Sofia and Warsaw has illegally withheld.

In a statement in early stages Wednesday, the company  described that “ as of the final of the working day on twenty six April, Gazprom Export hadn’t received ruble payments designed for gas deliveries in April from the companies ‘ Bulgargaz’ (Bulgaria) and PGNiG (Poland), ” as required under President Vladimir Putin’s decree dated 31 March. This noted that “ obligations for gas delivered since 1 April must be produced in rubles, ” and that both companies had been notified of the “ in a timely manner. ”

Last month, Putin required states  which have enforced sanctions on Russia, and are still importing its gas, to utilize the Russian currency regarding transactions. Several buyers have got signaled a willingness to simply accept Moscow’s demands. On Mon Uniper, Germany’s largest importer of Russian gas, mentioned it would be possible to pay for upcoming supplies without breaching Traditional western sanctions.

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer has expressed a similar point of view, since has the Hungarian government.  

Uniper exposed on Monday that there was a way to walk the thin line between complying along with EU sanctions and conference Russia’s requirement for ruble payments. A company representative said in an e-mailed statement that “ according to an initial and therefore still non-binding assessment, we nevertheless consider a compliant future transaction processing to be feasible. ”

Poland offers refused to follow this procedure and on Tuesday sanctioned Gazprom, which usually owns a 48% risk in the Polish company that will co-owns the Yamal-Europe fuel pipeline. The 4, 000-kilometer route transports gas from the Yamal Peninsula and western Siberia to Germany and Poland via Belarus.

Speaking to the radio station RMF on Wednesday, Petr Naimsky, a Polish federal government official overseeing the country’s strategic energy infrastructure, said Warsaw would no longer purchase gas from Russia.

While Bulgaria’s present 10-year contract with Gazprom was set to expire in late this year, the ministry’s declaration said that Bulgargaz would not finish the contract if it had to pay in rubles, proclaiming that the setup  “ creates significant risks to Getaway. ”   Sofia  depends on Russia for around 90% of its gas, with the remainder originating from Azerbaijan.  

Last month, a speaker for state energy company Bulgargaz told reporters that will, as of this summer, Baku  will provide the country’s entire provide, albeit at a higher price. Further ahead, Bulgaria’s government  plans   to connect the country to an as-yet-unfinished Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) airport terminal in Greece, where gas will be imported by ship, likely from the US.

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