Russia cuts gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria halted

Russia has cut gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria in a move EU countries described as a “blackmail”. The Russian national gas company, Gazprom claimed the two countries failed to heed its demand that payment should be made in roubles.

The development has prompted crisis talks in capitals across Europe, according to Guardian UK.

In a statement, the Russian supplier said, “Gazprom has completely suspended gas supplies to Bulgargaz and PGNiG due to absence of payments in roubles.

Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, condemned the move, saying that fellow EU countries would come to Poland and Bulgaria’s aid.

She said: “The announcement by Gazprom that it is unilaterally stopping delivery of gas to customers in Europe is yet another attempt by Russia to use gas as an instrument of blackmail.

“This is unjustified and unacceptable. And it shows once again the unreliability of Russia as a gas supplier. We are prepared for this scenario. We are in close contact with all member states.”

Gazprom has also said it would stop transiting gas through the two EU countries to others such as Germany if it discovered any withdrawal of volumes from pipelines.

“Bulgaria and Poland are transit states,” Gazprom said. “In the event of unauthorised withdrawal of Russian gas from transit volumes to third countries, supplies for transit will be reduced by this volume.”

The Polish gas company PGNiG confirmed that supply had stopped but a spokesperson said its clients were still getting the fuel in line with their needs.

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