May 28, 2022
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Ukraine to press for full energy embargo on Russia

Russian energy giant halts gas supplies to Poland, Bulgaria

WARSAW/SOFIA/KYIV — Russian energy agency Gazprom mentioned on Wednesday it had halted gas supplies to Bulgaria and Poland for failing to pay for gas in roubles, the Kremlin’s hardest retaliation but to worldwide sanctions over the struggle in Ukraine.

Poland confirmed that supplies had been reduce, whereas Bulgaria mentioned it will discover out quickly. Each accused Gazprom of breaching longstanding provide contracts.

“Because all trade and legal obligations are being observed, it is clear that at the moment the natural gas is being used more as a political and economic weapon in the current war,” Bulgarian Energy Minister Alexander Nikolov mentioned.

Gazprom mentioned in a press release it had “completely suspended gas supplies to Bulgargaz and PGNiG  due to absence of payments in roubles,” referring to the Polish and Bulgarian gas firms.

Russian President Vladimir Putin demanded that consumers from “unfriendly” nations pay for gas in roubles or be reduce off, ranging from the date funds are due for April. The European Union has rejected this demand as rewriting contracts that referred to as for cost in euros.

Poland receives its Russian gas by means of the Yamal-Europe pipeline from Russia’s large gas fields within the Arctic far north, which continues west to provide Germany and different European nations. Bulgaria is equipped by means of pipes over Turkey.

Polish state-owned PGNiG confirmed its supplies from Gazprom had been reduce however mentioned it was nonetheless supplying its personal purchasers as wanted.

“Cutting gas supplies is a breach of contract and PGNiG reserves the right to seek compensation and will use all available contractual and legal means to do so,” the corporate mentioned.

Supplies from Gazprom GAZP.MM cowl about 50% of Poland’s consumption and about 90% of Bulgaria’s. Poland mentioned it didn’t want to draw on reserves and its gas storage was 76% full. Bulgaria has mentioned it’s in talks to attempt to import liquefied pure gas by means of Turkey and Greece.

Russia’s energy exports had till now continued largely unhindered for the reason that struggle started, the most important loophole in sanctions which have in any other case reduce off Moscow from a lot of its commerce with the West.

Kyiv has referred to as on Europe to cease funding Moscow’s struggle effort by reducing off energy imports that deliver Russia lots of of tens of millions of {dollars} a day.

Germany, the most important purchaser of Russian energy, mentioned this week it’s hoping to cease importing Russian oil inside days. However weaning Europe off low-cost and ample Russian pure gas, which heats its homes, fuels its factories and drives its electrical energy crops, could be a much more disruptive prospect.

Andriy Yermak, chief of workers to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, mentioned Russia was “beginning the gas blackmail of Europe”.

“Russia is trying to shatter the unity of our allies,” Mr. Yermak mentioned.

For the reason that Russian invasion pressure was pushed again on the outskirts of Kyiv final month, Moscow has refocused its operation on jap Ukraine, beginning a brand new offensive from a number of instructions to absolutely seize two provinces generally known as the Donbas.

Ukraine’s normal workers acknowledged that Russia had made positive aspects at various areas within the east, capturing outskirts of the cities of Velyka Komyshuvakha and Zavody on one entrance, and the Zarichne and Novoshtokivske settlements in Donetsk area.

Russia’s protection ministry mentioned its missiles had struck an arms depot in Zaporizhzhia area housing weapons from the US and European nations.

An aide to the mayor of the port metropolis of Mariupol mentioned Russian forces had renewed their assaults on the Azovstal metal plant, the place fighters and a few civilians are holed up. No agreements had been reached on making an attempt to evacuate civilians from Mariupol on Wednesday, aide Petro Andryushchenko additionally mentioned.

Ukraine mentioned it had attacked Snake Island, a Black Sea outpost seized by Russia early within the struggle when defenders grew to become heroes to Ukrainians for rejecting a Russian demand to give up with an obscenity.

There was rising concern over the prospect of the battle widening to neighboring Moldova, the place pro-Russian separatists in a small area occupied for the reason that Nineties by Russian troops have reported a number of explosions in latest days. — Reuters

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