Russian gas is Putin's main weapon for putting pressure on EU countries

Russia has begun implementing its cunning plan to blackmail Europe with gas. On April 26, Poland (state-owned gas company PGNiG) and Bulgaria (gas distribution company Bulgargaz) received a message from Russian gas monopoly Gazprom that Russian gas supplies to both countries would be suspended from April 27 due to “non-compliance with payment terms.”

In late March, Putin signed a decree obliging Gazprom’s foreign European counterparts to pay for gas in Russian rubles from April 1st. In turn, most EU countries did not succumb to such blackmail and began to look for an alternative to Russian resources.

In particular, Poland has stated that it will not renew its contract with Gazprom, which expires at the end of 2022. The country’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki is confident that Poland is now able to completely replace Russian gas. Warsaw has been preparing to diversify and receive gas from various places over the past six years. The Baltic Pipeline, which will receive gas from Norway, will start operating in October this year.

The Minister of Energy of Bulgaria Alexander Nikolov said that the company “Bulgargaz” has faithfully fulfilled all obligations under the contract with Gazprom, due to which the breach of contract is exclusively by Russia.

The suspension of gas supplies is a breach of Gazprom’s contractual obligations, which could threaten the Russian company with multibillion-dollar fines. Ukraine has already set a precedent for reimbursing Gazprom after securing a $ 2.9 billion payment from the Russian monopoly by the Stockholm Arbitration Court.

The gas extortion of Poland and Bulgaria once again confirms that Russia cannot be a reliable gas supplier.

Earlier, Hungary was subjected to Russian gas blackmail after accepting the Kremlin’s above terms.

In addition, the German energy concern Uniper admitted the possibility of paying for Russian gas under Putin’s terms in late May.

The Russian Federation is once again proving that energy resources are a weapon for it. The countries of the European Union must unite and impose an embargo on Russia’s energy resources. The cessation of gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria must be an argument in favor of a full gas embargo for the Russian Federation. This is an important signal to all other gas suppliers that the time has come for a major redistribution of the European gas market. Now Gazprom is not able to blackmail anyone, as it was at the beginning of the heating season.

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