Russia accused of blackmail after halting gas supply to Poland, Bulgaria

Poland and Bulgaria have accused Moscow of “blackmail” after the Russian energy giant Gazprom said it had cut off gas exports to the countries.

Poland’s deputy foreign minister, Marcin Przydacz, told the BBC that Russia was seeking to “foster divisions” between Western allies. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the move showed Russia’s “unreliability” as an energy supplier.

The Kremlin insists it is still a reliable energy partner. Gazprom’s move follows Poland and Bulgaria’s refusal to pay for gas in roubles. Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin decreed that all energy payments must be made in the Russian currency.

The move, which was designed to shore up the faltering currency which has been battered by Western sanctions, has been fiercely resisted by European nations.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, Gazprom said it had “completely suspended gas supplies” to Poland and Bulgaria in line with the decree issued by Mr Putin.



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