Gazprom to Stop Gas Supplies to Bulgaria From April 27 - Media Citing Ministry
19:31 GMT 26.04.2022 (Updated: 20:28 GMT 26.04.2022)
© East News / Mikhail Metzel/AP/XMIM101A worker does the preparation work for welding the first section of the South Stream pipeline in Anapa, Russia
© East News / Mikhail Metzel/AP/XMIM101
Russia decided to make "unfriendly nations" pay for its gas in rubles after the Western countries and their allies imposed harsh sanctions on Moscow over its military operation in Ukraine.
Gazprom, major Russian gas company, is to suspend supplies to Bulgaria starting from April 27, the Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported on Tuesday, citing a statement from the Bulgarian economy ministry.
The ministry announced that the country’s state-owned company Bulgargaz and the Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) assessed the possibility of implementing the new two-stage payment procedure proposed by the Russian government and said it “does not comply with the contract valid until the end of the year and carries significant risks for the Bulgarian side, including making payments without receiving gas from the Russian side.”
"Bulgargaz received a notification today, April 26, that natural gas supplies from Gazprom Export will be suspended starting April 27," the ministry reportedly said.
It also claimed that "the Bulgarian side has fully met its obligations and has made all payments required under its current contract in a timely manner, strictly and in accordance with its terms."
According to the statement, the ministry, BEH, Bulgargaz and Bulgartransgaz, the country’s gas transmission and storage system operator, have taken action on alternative agreements on gas supply. So far, there have been no restrictions on gas consumption announced in Bulgaria.
Bulgarian government spokesperson Lena Borislavova said earlier that the government would not allow violations of existing gas supply contracts, which presuppose payments in dollars or euros. She noted that the cessation of gas supplies from Russia is unlikely to affect the country, as it receives gas from various suppliers, including Azerbaijan.
On March 23, the Russian government ordered Gazprom to convert supply contracts into rubles for unfriendly countries. Members of the European Union along with the G7 and Azerbaijan have already refused to pay for Russian gas. However, on April 22, the European Commission didn’t rule out the possibility of buying Russian gas in rubles. Turkey, Armenia, Hungary, Slovakia and Nigeria have already agreed to implement ruble payments.