Russia Begins to Cut Off Gas Supplies to Europe

Moscow said on 26 April that it would stop gas supplies to both Poland and Bulgaria.

Russian energy giant Gazprom has decided to cut off gas supplies to two member states of NATO and the European Union, a move that marks the first time Moscow has directly and openly targeted its energy weapons at Europe. On 26 April, for Poland its main gas importer, Russian state-owned company PGNiG, said Gazprom had announced a complete suspension of gas deliveries via the Yamal pipeline, which stretches from northern Siberia through Belarus to Poland and Germany, as of 27 April.

Bulgaria’s energy ministry said later in the day that it had been informed that the country’s pipeline gas supplies from Russia flowing through Ukraine would be halted. Germany gets some gas through the Yamal pipeline, but most of the gas from Russia flows through Nord Stream, a separate pipeline at the bottom of the Baltic Sea that was still operating normally on April 26.

Poland, the largest economy in Eastern Europe, gets more than 45% of its gas supply from Russia, while Bulgaria gets up to about 90%. With the end of winter, temperatures are gradually rising, lessening the impact of the Russian gas cut-off on both countries, especially in Poland where most of the electricity supply comes from coal power, not gas, and is thus less affected.

Poland’s climate minister Anna Moskwa told a press conference in Warsaw that “we are ready to completely cut off” the supply of Russian gas.

Bulgaria’s energy ministry also assured consumers in a statement that “at the moment, Bulgaria does not need to restrict gas consumption.”

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Translator:MOS Gospel Team – Lilian H
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