russian company Gazprom confirmed on Wednesday that it has “completely” suspended gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria. For not paying for deliveries in rubles, a request from Moscow that he considers “unfriendly” countries.
From April 1, payments for gas supply must be made in rubles by order of the Government of Vladimir Putin.something that most European countries refuse to do.
“Gazprom Export reported that gas supplies to Bulgargaz and PGNiG have been stopped as of April 27. Until the payment is made in accordance with the procedure established by the Russian company,” said the Russian company.
At the end of March, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered “non-enemy” countries to pay for supplies, including the US, Canada, the UK and all member states of the European Union (EU), where Russian gas accounts for 40% of its consumption. In rubles due to Western sanctions on foreign exchange transactions with Moscow for its military campaign in Ukraine.
mechanism developed by For this, Russia determines that countries considered hostile must open a special account in rubles. and another in foreign currency at Gazprombank.
Putin’s idea was for the Russian bank to receive payment in euros or dollars, in the currency specified in the gas supply contract, and then convert it to rubles on the Moscow foreign exchange market. MICEX and he would deposit it into the buyer’s ruble account.
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As reported Tuesday by Polish state gas company Polskie Górnictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo (PGNiG), Gazprom had informed it that gas supplies to Poland would be cut off this Wednesday. due to his refusal to pay in rubles.
Polish Minister of Climate and Environment Anna Moskwa said, referring to Moscow’s request that Gazprom’s foreign contractors are “enemy to the Russian Federation”, that “There are no decrees of Putin in force in Poland (Vladimir). to pay rubles for imported gas.
Moskwa reassured Polish radio this Wednesday: “Gas stocks stored in Poland are around 80 percent, which is a lot. There is no need to look for new supplies at the moment: we have LNG sources, we have Czech interconnection and at some point we will turn to Lithuanian interconnections.“.
“There will be no gas shortage, supplies have been provided,” the minister said. PGNiG company said on Tuesday, Cutback in Russian gas imports planned since last FridayThe day when Russia begins to pay its energy bill in rubles.
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In a statement, PGNiG claimed that “suspending gas supply is a breach of contract”.
The Polish government released a list on Tuesday of 50 Russian companies and individuals with business interests in Poland that will be subject to sanctions. Affected companies, including Gazprom’s Polish subsidiary, will have their funds and economic resources frozen and their shares and dividend rights revoked.
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The Kremlin announced this Wednesday that after Russia cuts gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria, shipments to other countries will also be cut if they do not accept the new payment mechanism in rubles.
“Presidential decree will be applied as the payment time approaches and consumers reject the new payment system.“Russian presidential spokesman Dmitri Peskov said at a daily phone press conference.
Peskov categorically denied that the supply cut was blackmail, as European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen explained.
Dmitri Peskov added that European countries were warned in advance that Russia would switch to a new payment system in response to social sanctions against Moscow and the blocking of the country’s funds abroad.
Von der Leyen assured this Wednesday that the European Union (EU) has contingency plans for possible gas cuts from Russia, following the suspension of supplies to Bulgaria and Poland for failing to pay in rubles.
“Gazprom’s announcement that it will unilaterally suspend gas distribution to customers in Europe is another attempt by Russia to use gas as a blackmail tool,” von der Leyen said in a statement.
The Chairman of the Community Executive Board added: Moscow maneuver “once again demonstrates Russia’s unreliability as a gas supplier” and assured that the European partners were “preparing for this scenario (…) unfair and unacceptable”.
The Kremlin representative told Von der Leyen that Russia remains a reliable supplier and that supply will resume if the countries affected by the cuts agree to pay in rubles.
Peskov emphasized that paying in rubles does not mean “any difficulties” and does not raise the price of materials. “De facto, nothing changes for buyers, the only condition is that they open two new accounts at Gazprombank”, an organization tasked with receiving payment in foreign currency and converting it into rubles.
Peskov emphasized that the price will not change according to the exchange rate and this has already been discussed.
According to the Bloomberg agency, citing sources close to Gazprom, a total of ten European buyers of Russian gas have opened special accounts at Gazprombank in rubles, and four of them have already paid in Russian currency.
The source, who did not want to be named, stated that no further gas cuts are planned until the second half of May, when other payments for Russian fuel in rubles will be made.
Gazprom announced that it has “totally” suspended gas supplies to Bulgargaz (Bulgaria) and PGNiG (Poland), as it had not received payment for April deliveries in rubles at the end of yesterday’s working day, as determined by Putin’s Decree of 31 December. for “unfriendly” countries.
EFE and AFP
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