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Poland confirms Russia halted gas supplies

27.04.2022 12:00
Poland’s climate and environment minister confirmed that Russia shut off gas supplies to her country on Wednesday morning.
Polands Climate and Environment Minister Anna Moskwa.
Poland's Climate and Environment Minister Anna Moskwa.PAP/Marcin Obara

“The faucet has been turned off,” Anna Moskwa told public broadcaster Polish Radio.

She noted that the European Union’s executive, the European Commission, was scheduled to hold a meeting on Russian gas imports later in the day. 

Meanwhile, the president of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, accused Russia of “blackmail” after its move to halt gas deliveries to Poland and Bulgaria.

Russia demands rouble payments

The controversy erupted on Tuesday when Russia’s energy giant Gazprom announced it would suspend its gas deliveries from 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

Gazprom cited Poland's "refusal to pay for the gas in roubles” as a reason for its move, Polish state gas company PGNiG said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin last month ordered foreign buyers to pay for gas in the Russian currency or else have the supplies cancelled, according to news outlets. 

Meanwhile, PGNiG said Gazprom was in breach of contract, adding it would take action to reinstate supplies. 

‘Putin’s decrees do not apply in Poland’

The Polish climate minister reiterated this stance on Wednesday, saying: “We have a binding contract that sets payment rules. Putin’s decrees do not apply in Poland.”

‘Poland is safe’: PM

Following Gazprom’s move, the Polish prime minister said that his country would not be "adversely affected by the move."

Mateusz Morawiecki told reporters while on a visit to Berlin on Tuesday: “Poland is safe when it comes to energy supplies.”

He added that Poland’s gas storage facilities were “76 percent full” and the country also had alternative sources of supply, such as Germany, the Czech Republic and the liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in the northwestern port of Świnoujście, according to the PAP news agency.

Moreover, a new pipeline, called the “Baltic Pipe,” is set to start delivering gas to Poland from Norway in October, potentially replacing all Russian supplies, Morawiecki said.

Gazprom’s decision comes after Poland last month announced a plan to renounce Russian coal, gas and oil by the end of the year, in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.


Source: IAR, PAP