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Russia cuts gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria as tensions mount with the West

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Russian gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria have been cut off in an escalation of tensions between Moscow and the West.

It is the first time the Kremlin has cut off a country’s gas supply since the start of the invasion. It came after Warsaw refused a demand by Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, to pay for gas in roubles.

Anna Moskwa, Poland’s climate and energy minister, confirmed it had stopped receiving supplies through the Yamal-Europe pipeline, which pumps Russian gas to Poland and Germany.

The Bulgarian economy minister on Tuesday night announced the country had also been cut off from Russian gas supplies despite insisting it had complied with Russia’s terms.

“Bulgargaz received a notification today, April 26, that natural gas supplies from Gazprom Export will be suspended starting April 27,” the ministry in the Balkan country, which is highly dependent on Russian gas, said in a statement.

“The Bulgarian side has fully met its obligations and has made all payments required under its current contract in a timely manner, strictly and in accordance with its terms,” it added.

Mateusz Morawiecki, the Polish prime minister, said: “We have been threatened with the suspension of gas supplies by Gazprom and have taken steps to diversify supplies. We will protect Poland against this Russian measure.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Piotr Naimski, the Polish government’s commissioner for strategic energy infrastructure, said Poland would refuse to pay Russia in roubles, and that the country was prepared for any retaliation.

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