Polish state gas company PGNiG confirms that Russia’s Gazprom has completely stopped supplying gas despite a previously concluded contract. The Russians previously announced that they would stop gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria because the countries refused to pay in rubles.
On Tuesday, Poland and Bulgaria already reported that the Russians threatened to turn off the gas tap, which Gazprom confirmed a day later. At the time, the Polish government reassured the population that the gas reserves were sufficiently filled to allow them to move forward for the time being.
According to Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, the gas storage facilities in the country are 76 percent full. In addition, the country is doing everything it can to get gas from other countries. PGNiG says it will continue to deliver the fuel to its customers.
Poland is largely dependent on Russian gas. The so-called Yamal contract with Gazprom is good for importing 10.2 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year. That is about half of all the gas that Poland consumes.
Russia is demanding that “unfriendly countries” condemn Ukraine’s invasion to pay for gas in rubles, but European customers are refusing to do so. Moreover, the requirement would go against previous agreements in supply contracts. With the demand, Russia hopes, among other things, to keep the value of its currency high. The ruble fell sharply in value after the invasion of Ukraine started due to all the sanctions Western countries imposed on Russia but then recovered.
Gazprom says it will stop supplying gas as long as Poland and Bulgaria do not pay in rubles. The group also threatened to cut gas supplies through those countries to other destinations if Poland and Bulgaria tapped the gas.
There are calls from Moscow to cut off more countries from Russian gas. Parliament Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin correctly called Gazprom’s move, arguing that other “unfriendly countries” deserve the same treatment as Poland and Bulgaria.