On April 26, Polish PGNiG and Bulgarian Bulgargaz received a letter from Gazprom announcing a complete halt of supplies under the Yamal contract as of the beginning of the contract day on April 27th.
In March, Russian President Putin said that gas supplies must be paid for in rubles and that countries could be cut off if they refused.
PGNiG stated today that it can source gas from the EU via interconnectors with Germany and the Czech Republic.
An important source of supply is indigenous production, with an additional safeguard being gas stocks held in UGS facilities in Poland, which are currently injected and are approximately 80% full.
Poland currently has the only LNG terminal in Swinoujscie, with a maximum annual capacity of 5 billion m3.
Bulgaria has said it is in talks to try to import LNG through Turkey and Greece.
A Greek source close to the matter told Reuters that Athens could help Bulgaria by reversing the flow of the Turkish Stream pipeline, a mechanism that has been used before.
Emergency talks took place place in Brussels today.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said:
- The announcement by Gazprom that it is unilaterally stopping delivery of gas to customers in Europe is yet another attempt by Russia to use gas as an instrument of blackmail
- This is unjustified and unacceptable
- It shows once again the unreliability of Russia as a gas supplier and we are prepared for this scenario
- This latest aggressive move by Russia is another reminder that we need to work with reliable partners and build our energy independence
- The era of Russian fossil fuels in Europe will come to an end
Fatih Birol, the head of the International Energy Agency (IEA), described Russia's move as a «weaponization of energy supplies.»
He said Russia’s decision «makes it clearer than ever that Europe needs to move quickly to reduce its reliance on Russian energy.»
The European Union relies on Russia for around 40% of its gas supply and 27% of its oil imports.
The latest move by Russia sent European gas prices up further today, surging by 24%.