In a dramatic escalation of tensions with the West, Russian energy giant Gazprom informed Poland’s state-owned gas company PGNiG that it would “completely suspend” gas supplies along the Yamal pipeline from Wednesday morning. , PGNiG said in a statement Tuesday.
“On April 26, Gazprom informed PGNiG of its intention to suspend deliveries entirely under the Yamal contract at the start of the contract day on April 27,” the statement said.
The news sent U.S. natural gas futures up about 3% on Tuesday.
Gazprom has not confirmed the shutdown of Russian gas supplies to Poland, Russian news agency TASS reported on Tuesday, citing company spokesman Sergey Kupriyanov.
Kupriyanov, however, stressed that Poland should pay for Russian gas supplies in roubles, a request that Warsaw refused.
Russia last month issued an ultimatum to “unfriendly” nations to pay for their energy in rubles from April 1 or risk being cut off from vital supplies. But the flow of gas continued. The Kremlin said payments for gas delivered at the time of its announcement would fall around the end of April or the beginning of May, which is why Russia did not immediately cut off the flow of gas to Europe.
Putin’s high-stakes threat has sent shockwaves through Europe, which cannot run its economy for long without Russian energy. Moscow has sent a clear signal that it may at some point reduce natural gas flows – perhaps to deter or respond to even tougher Western sanctions over the war in Ukraine.
PGNiG said it was ready to get gas from various directions, including via gas connections at the western and southern borders and the liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in the port city of Swinoujscie in northwestern Poland. .
It also said its underground gas storage is almost 80% full.
“The balance sheet is completed by domestic gas production and fuel reserves accumulated in underground gas storage. Currently, the filling level of the warehouses is around 80% and is significantly higher than in the corresponding period of previous years,” he added.
The Polish gas company said that all deliveries to customers are currently being made according to their needs, adding that the company is monitoring the situation and is prepared for various scenarios.
Polish Climate Minister Anna Moskwa said on Tuesday that there would be no shortage of gas in Poland despite the halt in exports from Russia.
“Poland has the necessary gas reserves and sources of supply that protect our security – we have been effectively independent from Russia for years,” she said in a tweet.
“There will be no shortage of gas in Polish homes,” the minister wrote.