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In Bulgaria and Poland, Russia Shows Its Willingness to Weaponize Europe's Gas Supplies

MIN READApr 27, 2022 | 21:45 GMT

The logo of Russia's energy giant Gazprom is seen at a gas station in Sofia, Bulgaria, on April 27, 2022.

The logo of Russia's energy giant Gazprom is seen at a gas station in Sofia, Bulgaria, on April 27, 2022.

(NIKOLAY DOYCHINOV/AFP via Getty Images)

Russia's cutoff of natural gas supplies for Bulgaria and Poland sends a message to its rivals that Moscow is willing to halt natural gas supplies amid the Ukraine crisis, which would likely trigger a recession in Europe. Russian state-owned natural gas company Gazprom announced on April 27 that it suspended natural gas shipments to Bulgaria's state-owned Bulgargaz and Poland's state-owned PGNiG after both companies refused to comply with Moscow's demand to pay for natural gas in rubles. Gazprom also said the shipments would remain suspended until payments were made in rubles. Bulgaria and Poland will likely be able to withstand the cutoff, but a number of Russia's other European clients are now on notice ahead of payment dates for Russian natural gas due in May. Europe's main natural gas price benchmark surged 20% on the news, though pared its gains to 5%....

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