Russia has decided this Tuesday to suspend the supply of natural gas to Poland by refusing to pay in rubles, according to the Polish press. Hours earlier, Warsaw had announced another package of sanctions against 50 Russian oligarchs and businessmen, including directors of Gazprom, the Russian gas giant.

A few minutes after the information advanced by the newspaper Onet, the energy company PGNiG has confirmed that Gazprom had informed them that from this Wednesday at 8 am the “gas supply will be completely suspended.” In this way, Poland will become the first EU country to which Russia has suspended the supply of natural gas since the beginning of the invasion.

In response, the Polish Minister for Climate, Anna Moskwa , has stressed that Poland is prepared and that it has been energy independent for a long time, in addition to having a gas capacity of up to 76%: “There will be no shortage of gas in the Polish homes”, he pointed out.

With Western sanctions and the consequent volatility of the ruble, Moscow had threatened to cut off gas if “hostile countries” with Russia did not pay in Russian currency.

Poland had repeated on several occasions its refusal to comply with Russia’s demands to pay in rubles for the natural gas it buys from Gazprom, considering a change in the terms of the contract agreed by both parties. Along the same lines, they have positioned themselves in Brussels asking the Member States that are dependent on Russian gas to follow the provisions of the gas contracts for payment in euros or dollars.

Contracts with Gazprom

In March, Russia passed a decree requiring power buyers to open accounts at Gazprombank to make payments in euros or dollars, which would then be converted into rubles.

For years, Warsaw has been leading the hard line in European relations with Moscow, and once the Russian invasion began, it has been, along with the Baltic countries, the main bastion of the Ukrainian cause.

According to Polish media, at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, the gas supply through the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline from Belarus to Poland was at zero kilowatt hours (kWh).

Russian natural gas reaches Polish homes mainly through the Yamal gas pipeline, which, with its 4,107 kilometers in length, connects the Russian natural gas fields in the Yamal Peninsula and Western Siberia with Poland and Germany, through Belarus.

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