A Russian oil and gas company, which is majority state-owned, has made the choice to cut off all natural gas to Bulgaria and Poland in the wake of the two European countries outright refusing to make their payments in Rubles.
Gazprom, the Russian gas corporation in question, released their announcement this past Wednesday that stated that it had closed off access because of an unpaid bill in April after the nation chose not to pay using the crumbling Russian currency.
“The announcement by Gazprom that it is unilaterally stopping delivery of gas to customers in Europe is yet another attempt by Russia to use gas as an instrument of blackmail,” stated European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in a release.
“This is unjustified and unacceptable. And it shows once again the unreliability of Russia as a gas supplier” she claimed.
Executive director of the Paris-based International Energy Agency, Fatih Birol, stepped forward to also state that this denial of access was just a “weaponization of energy supplies,” reported the Associated Press.
The AP went on to highlight that the prices of natural gas throughout Europe spiked almost 25% seemingly in response to the report before slowly starting to ease off later that day.
Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov stated their issues via a post on Twitter, talking about a call with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis about “energy security and diversification.”
We both are confident for the successful completion of the #IGB on time.
— Kiril Petkov (@KirilPetkov) April 27, 2022
Poland Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki also stated that he believed that the move was made in an effort to take revenge on his country for its support of Ukraine in the wake of Russia’s aggressive invasion.
Via a post on Twitter, the prime minister highlighted that he has been in contact with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz “about an urgent delivery of arms to [Ukraine] and reliance on [Russian] gas and oil. Short term it will be difficult to wean Europe off them, but long term it will serve peace. Europe cannot afford to live in constant danger from [Russian] aggression.”
I spoke with @OlafScholz today about an urgent delivery of arms to 🇺🇦 and reliance on 🇷🇺 gas and oil. Short term it will be difficult to wean Europe off them, but long term it will serve peace. Europe cannot afford to live in constant danger from 🇷🇺 aggression. pic.twitter.com/j87wZNTYwJ
— Mateusz Morawiecki (@MorawieckiM) April 26, 2022
These issues are taking place as Russia continued to try and blame the rest of the world for the problems that are happening because of its invasion of Ukraine. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov tried to call out NATO this past Monday for escalating the war being fought in Ukraine and issued a “considerable” threat of nuclear world war.
Lavrov also claimed that the West had also escalated tensions by giving weapons to the Ukrainian defenders as the Russian assault forces continue to try and force their way through the European country, reported the Wall Street Journal.
“The risk is serious, real. It should not be underestimated,” stated Lavrov to a Russian state-run TV station. “Under no circumstances should a third world war be allowed to happen.”
Dmytro Kuleba, the Ukrainian Foreign Minister, called out this Russian blame game, stating that this was just the tactic of a nation on the verge of defeat.
“Russia loses last hope to scare the world off supporting Ukraine. Thus the talk of a ‘real’ danger of WWIII. This only means Moscow senses defeat in Ukraine. Therefore, the world must double down on supporting Ukraine so that we prevail and safeguard European and global security,” he claims.
Russia loses last hope to scare the world off supporting Ukraine. Thus the talk of a ‘real’ danger of WWIII. This only means Moscow senses defeat in Ukraine. Therefore, the world must double down on supporting Ukraine so that we prevail and safeguard European and global security.
— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) April 25, 2022