Russia stops gas supplies to Poland – POLITICO

Russian gas supplier Gazprom will halt gas supplies to Poland from Wednesday over its refusal to settle payments in rubles, Polish gas supplier PGNiG announced Explanation late Tuesday.

“PGNiG has received a letter from Gazprom announcing the complete cessation of supplies under the Yamal Treaty… from April 27,” the statement said.

PGNiG said the Russian decision is linked to the Polish energy company’s refusal to pay for its gas in rubles, as requested by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

A decree signed by Putin on March 31 creates a procedure whereby foreign buyers of gas from so-called “unfriendly countries” – a list that includes Poland and other EU members – must pay in rubles. EU countries have largely rejected this demand, saying it breaks contracts denominated in dollars and euros.

The European Commission said such payments would breach EU sanctions imposed after Russia invaded Ukraine.

PGNiG said it will “settle its liabilities for natural gas delivered under the Yamal contract under its current terms.”

The Polish utility asked Gazprom to resume gas supplies. If this doesn’t happen, she warned: “The company reserves the right to claim damages.”

“There is no contractual basis for suspending the supply of gas delivered under the Yamal contract,” PGNiG called.

Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov told reporters in Moscow earlier in the day: “Poland is obliged to pay for gas supplies under the new payment method.” according to to the official TASS news agency.

Poland has vowed to stop importing Russian coal, gas and oil and is urging other EU countries to do so quickly.

“We are prepared for the complete shutdown of Russian fossil fuels,” Polish Energy Minister Anna Moskva said in a news conference on Tuesday.

Poland gets 46 percent of its gas, 64 percent of its oil and 15 percent of its coal from Russia forum energya think tank.

Polish authorities insisted the shutdown will not affect gas consumers.

“Thanks to the implementation of the government’s strategy of diversifying gas supply sources, PGNiG is ready to receive gas from various directions, including via gas interconnections on the western and southern borders and the LNG terminal in Świnoujście,” PGNiG said.

Moscow called: “Poland has the necessary gas reserves and sources of supply that protect our security,” adding that the country’s gas storage facilities are 80 percent full. She said Poland will continue to buy gas on European and international markets and aims to fill up its reserves to 100 percent.

Poland’s 1996 deal with Gazprom expires at the end of the year and Warsaw has said it will not be renewed. Piotr Naimski, in charge of strategic energy infrastructure, said Poland is already planning to halt Russian gas supplies and Gazprom’s decision on Tuesday “accelerates this”.

Early in the afternoon, news that gas flows from Russia to Poland were showing a steep decline caused spot gas prices to rise. Month-ahead gas contracts on the EU benchmark TTF trading floor in the Netherlands rose from €91 per MWh to €107/MWh around 4:30 p.m. before leveling off again at €99/MWh. Russia stops gas supplies to Poland – POLITICO

Fry Electronics Team

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