The Russian group Gazprom announced on Wednesday that it had suspended all its gas deliveries to Bulgaria and Poland, assuring that these two member countries of the European Union had not made any payment in rubles.
In a statement, Gazprom said it had notified the Bulgarian company Bulgargaz and the Polish company PGNiG of the "suspension of gas deliveries from April 27 and until payment is made" in rubles.
PGNiG confirmed Wednesday "the complete cessation of the supply of natural gas provided by Gazprom under the Yamal contract".
"The situation does not affect routine supplies for PGNiG customers who are receiving fuel as requested," the company said in a statement. According to PGNiG, the supply stop "is a breach of the Yamal contract" and the company reserves "the right to seek repairs."
Russian President Vladimir Putin said last month that Russia would only accept payment for gas deliveries in its national currency, in reaction to sanctions imposed to punish the Kremlin offensive in Ukraine.
Gazprom said it did not receive payment for gas deliveries in April from Bulgargaz and PGNiG by the end of Tuesday afternoon.
"Bulgaria and Poland are transit countries. In the event of unauthorized withdrawal of Russian gas from quantities in transit to third countries, transit deliveries will be reduced in the same quantity" withdrawn, warned the Russian giant.
Poland and Bulgaria, highly dependent on Russian gas, both announced on Tuesday evening that they had been notified of the suspension of deliveries by Gazprom.
These two members of NATO and the EU, however, say they are prepared to obtain the missing gas from other sources.
Polish Climate Minister Anna Moskwa has assured that there will be no shortage of gas in Poland, saying that Warsaw is ready for "complete independence from Russian raw materials".
The Bulgarian government affirmed that Sofia had "fully fulfilled" its obligations and had "made all payments required under the contract in due time", ensuring that "actions to find alternative arrangements for the supply of natural gas and deal with the situation" were undertaken.