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Russia to cut gas to Poland and Bulgaria, making energy a weapon

Moscow is making good on a threat to halt gas flows to countries that refuse President Vladimir Putin’s new demand to pay for the fuel in rubles.

April 27, 2022 / 06:18 AM IST
Pipework at a gas pre-treatment unit at the Gazprom PJSC Chayandinskoye oil, gas and condensate field, a resource base for the Power of Siberia gas pipeline, in the Lensk district of the Sakha Republic, Russia, on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. European natural gas futures declined after Russia signaled that it may offer additional volumes soon.

Pipework at a gas pre-treatment unit at the Gazprom PJSC Chayandinskoye oil, gas and condensate field, a resource base for the Power of Siberia gas pipeline, in the Lensk district of the Sakha Republic, Russia, on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. European natural gas futures declined after Russia signaled that it may offer additional volumes soon.

Russia will cut off the gas to Poland and Bulgaria on Wednesday in a major escalation in the standoff between Moscow and Europe over energy supplies and the war in Ukraine.

Moscow is making good on a threat to halt gas flows to countries that refuse President Vladimir Putin’s new demand to pay for the fuel in rubles. The European Union has rejected the move in principle but now payment deadlines are starting to fall due, governments across Europe need to decide whether to accept Putin’s terms or lose crucial supplies -- and face the prospect of energy rationing.

Share of natural gas imports coming from Russia, 2020

European gas prices surged as much as 17% as traders calculated the risk of other European countries being hit next.