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Russia Halts Gas Supplies to Bulgaria, Poland
By Staff, Agencies
Gazprom, Russia’s main natural gas supplier, announced a complete halt in gas exports to Bulgaria and Poland on Wednesday after the two countries refused to make payments in rubles.
According to a company statement, supplies will not resume until Sofia and Warsaw comply with the new terms.
The Russian energy giant warned that should Bulgaria and Poland start syphoning Russian transit gas intended for other countries, it will reduce supplies by the amount Sofia and Warsaw has illegally withheld.
In a statement early on Wednesday, Gazprom explained that “as of the end of the working day on 26 April, Gazprom Export had not received ruble payments for gas deliveries in April from the companies ‘Bulgargaz’ [Bulgaria] and PGNiG [Poland],” as required under President Vladimir Putin’s decree dated 31 March. The Russian energy giant noted that “payments for gas delivered since 1 April must be made in rubles,” and that both companies were notified of this “in a timely manner.”
Last month Putin required nations which have imposed sanctions on Russia and are still importing its gas, to make payments in rubles. Several buyers have signaled a willingness to accept Moscow’s demands. On Monday Uniper, Germany’s largest importer of Russian gas, said it would be possible to pay for future supplies without breaching Western sanctions.
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