Putin’s ransom: Russia to cut off more gas buyers that don’t pay in rubles

Putin's ransom: Russia to cut off more gas buyers that don't pay in rubles. Image: "gazprom facility across the moscow river" by greg westfall. is marked with CC BY 2.0.

Putin’s ransom: Russia to cut off more gas buyers that don’t pay in rubles.

European gas prices are up 24 per cent. The ruble reaches a 2-year high against the euro.

RUSSIA announced on Wednesday, April 27 that it will cut off more gas buyers that don’t pay in rubles. The news comes after European gas prices are reportedly up 24 per cent, while the ruble has reached a 2-year high against the euro.

According to the Kremlin, Russia is demanding payment for gas in rubles due to “unfriendly actions of countries” following their invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

Putin warned that those countries who refuse to pay in rubles by the second half of May – when the next payments are due – will have their gas supplies cut off, according to a source close to Russian gas giant Gazprom.

Four European countries are believed to have already succumbed to demands from Russian President Vladimir Putin while Poland and Bulgaria have stood firm.

As of April 27, Moscow stopped Russian gas from flowing through the pipes of the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline that supplies Poland, and also Germany. In a statement released on April 26, the Polish state gas company PGNiG confirmed that Gazprom had terminated the contract.

Gazprom also informed Bulgaria’s Bulgargaz that gas supplies to the country had also been cut off.

One of Germany’s largest energy supply companies, EnBW, said the country must prepare “intensively” for gas shortages.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen condemned Gazprom’s decision to halt gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria.

“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,” she said in a statement via Twitter.

She added: “This is unjustified and unacceptable.”

“Europeans can trust that we stand united and in full solidarity with the Member States impacted in the face of this new challenge. Europeans can count on our full support,” she said.

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Written by

Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]


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