Russia to Suspend Natural Gas Supplies to Poland, Bulgaria

Russian gas giant Gazprom told Poland and Bulgaria that it will suspend sending gas supplies from April 27.

Polish state gas company PGNiG and the Bulgarian Energy Ministry said that Russia had informed them of the suspension.

PGNiG bought 53% of its imports from Gazprom in the first quarter of this year while Bulgaria relies on the Russian firm for over 90% of its gas supply.

The Russian move comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin said last month that “unfriendly” countries must start paying for gas in rubles or it would cut supplies.

Poland and Bulgaria have refused to pay in rubles, saying that it was a breach of the Yamal contract.

Polish Climate Minister Anna Moskwa said at a press conference on April 26 that there will be no shortage of gas in Polish homes.

“Poland has the necessary gas reserves and supply sources that protect our security, because we have been effectively independent of Russia for years. Our warehouses are 76% full,” Moskwa said.

Polish Deputy Prime Minister Marcin Przydacz said that Poland had been preparing for such a situation by diversifying its supplies.

“I’m pretty sure that we will manage to handle this,” Przydacz told BBC.

Poland was already planning to suspend Russian gas imports when its long-term supply contract with Gazprom ends at the end  of the year.

Meanwhile, Bulgaria has said that it was working with state gas companies to find alternative sources, but no restrictions on gas consumptions were currently required.

The Bulgarian Energy Ministry also said that it had mad all required payments with Gazprom.

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