Brussels [Belgium], April 27 (ANI/Sputnik): Russian energy giant Gazprom’s decision to suspend gas supplies to Bulgaria and Poland is yet another attempt at blackmail, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said on Wednesday.
Gazprom said earlier in the day that it had completely suspended gas supplies to Bulgaria’s largest natural gas distribution company Bulgargaz and Polish oil and gas company PGNiG, as the companies failed to pay for gas in rubles.
“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. This is unjustified and unacceptable. And it shows once again the unreliability of Russia as a gas supplier,” von der Leyen said in a statement.
The European Union is prepared for this scenario and is in close contact with all member states, the commission head said, adding that the bloc has been “mapping out … coordinated EU response.”
President of the European Council Charles Michel said the EU was in contact with Warsaw and Sofia, and that the countries will “remain united” in the course of a gradual shutdown of Russia’s gas supply.
“Gazprom’s decision to cut gas supplies to some EU Member States is another aggressive unilateral move by Russia. In contact with (Polish Prime Minister Mateusz) @MorawieckiM and (Bulgarian Prime Minister) @KirilPetkov. We will remain united and support each other while phasing out Russian energy imports,” Michel tweeted.
Last week, the CEO of German energy company E.ON, Leonhard Birnbaum, said that an immediate embargo on gas supplies from Russia would be painful for both Germany and the whole of the European Union, and could result in a split within the bloc, as some countries are more dependent on Russian energy imports than others. (ANI/Sputnik)