September 28, 2022

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The Moscow gas threat worries Europeans

Europeans do not know how to explain Gazprom’s decision to suspend gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria from Wednesday, April 27. They fear that this will be the beginning of a series in which other EU (EU) countries will be subjected to the same treatment. They believe that a retaliatory measure aimed at these two countries shows a kind of force to intimidate them.

At present, they are united behind Warsaw and Sofia, which account for only 8% of Russia’s gas imports from twenty – seven. “Kremlin uses fossil fuels as a threat”Commission chair Ursula van der Leyen said Wednesday. “We are prepared for this situation.”He promised and added “Integrated European Response”. As of Wednesday, Germany had sent gas to Poland and Greece to Bulgaria.

read more: The article is reserved for our subscribers War in Ukraine: Gosprom suspends gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria

The Kremlin says Sofia and Warsaw lost gas for refusing to pay for what they bought in rubles. In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in the face of European sanctions, Russian President Vladimir Putin, in practice, These transactions take place in the Russian national currency. On Wednesday, Moscow recommended that Vienna accept its terms before being rejected by the Austrian prime minister. Ursula van der Leyen, for her part, recalled it “97% of contracts [entre des groupes de l’UE et les fournisseurs de gaz russe] Offer to pay in Euros or Dollars “ So there is no reason to change the terms. Moreover, he warned, European companies paying for Russian gas in rubles would violate EU sanctions and therefore put themselves at legal risk. “Raised”.

Russian “revenge” against Poland

To Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, the Russian decision “A revenge” Since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine against Poland, it has been on an uncompromising path against Moscow. On several occasions, Warsaw invited its allies Provide more weapons The embargo on kyiv and on Russian forces must be decided without delay. Bulgaria is far behind in supporting Ukraine.

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On the other hand, the two countries have generally decided, long ago, “Do not renew contract with Gosprom”It will end in the coming months, explains Thomas Bellerin-Carlin, director of the Jack-Telors Institute’s Energy Center. “The Baltic states have stopped importing Russian gas.Says an ambassador.

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