It is a real clap of thunder that resounds in the European Union. Russia will cut its gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria, two member countries of the EU and NATO. The Polish company PGNiG announced this on Tuesday after being informed by the Russian gas giant Gazprom of the cessation of its gas deliveries via the Yamal gas pipeline from Wednesday morning. A decision denounced by Warsaw, which however indicated that it had sufficient reserves. Poland’s energy supply is indeed secure, said Anna Moskwa, Warsaw’s climate minister, adding that there was no need to dip into gas reserves and consumer access would not be interrupted.
Data from European Union gas network operators showed reduced flows during the day via the Yamal gas pipeline linking Belarus to Poland.
Amid tensions with Westerners over the conflict in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin has asked countries deemed “unfriendly” to pay for gas deliveries in rubles through a new system.
Gazprom said during the day that Poland needed to start complying with the new payment method immediately. The Russian giant did not give further details and did not mention the press release from PGNiG mentioning the possible stoppage of gas deliveries.
While the contract with Russia is initially due to expire at the end of the year, Poland has reiterated that it will not comply with Russian demands regarding payment terms. She also indicated that she would not extend this contract.
In a statement, PGNiG denounced Gazprom’s decision, deemed a breach of contract, and said it intended to take steps to restore these gas supplies and was entitled to seek compensation.