Russia stops gas supplies to Bulgaria and Poland
Russian gas to European countries passes through Poland.
Bulgaria guarantees gas supplies to consumers for only one month.
In a major escalation, Russia's Gazprom announced today, Wednesday, the suspension of gas supplies to Bulgaria and Poland for non-payment of the dues in rubles, noting that gas supplies to other countries through Poland and Bulgaria may be suspended.
For his part, Bulgarian Energy Minister Alexander Nikolov said that his country is paying the dues to Russia per the contracts concluded, pointing out that gas supplies to consumers are guaranteed for only one month.
Nikolov added that Bulgaria paid for the gas for April, considering the suspension of supplies a breach of the contract.
"The ruble payment method Russia demands is a threat to us," the Bulgarian minister said.
"We are waiting for a position from the European Union on the decision by Gazprom to stop gas supplies," Nikolov said.
For its part, Britain considered Russia's suspension of gas supplies to Bulgaria and Poland an "economic rogue."
The British Foreign Secretary said the crisis in Ukraine showed the need to reduce dependence on Russian gas.
A spokesman for the State Duma said this morning, Wednesday, that energy supplies to "unfriendly" countries must be stopped.
In its first reaction to the Russian decision, the IAEA said, "Europe must move quickly to reduce its dependence on Russian energy."