Gazprom Cuts Gas to Poland and Bulgaria After They Refuse to Pay in Rubles

by Chris Black

Them crazy ruskies finally did it!

It’s springtime in Eastern Europe (not very cold outside), and these two countries don’t have the type of heavy industry that Germany has, i.e. they are not as dependent on Russian gas as Germany is.

However, you can’t run a former communist country without cheap gas, as all infrastructure is built for gas powered heating and cooking.

Basically, the entire former East Bloc has gas heating.

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Gazprom, Russia’s main natural gas supplier, has 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.”


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