Russia to Cut Gas to Poland and Bulgaria, Making Energy a Weapon

Russia will cut off the gas to Poland and Bulgaria on Wednesday in a major escalation in the standoff between Moscow and Europe over energy supplies and the war in Ukraine, Bloomberg News reported. Moscow is making good on a threat to halt gas supplies to countries that refuse President Vladimir Putin’s new demand to pay for the fuel in rubles. The European Union has rejected the demand in principle but now payment deadlines are starting to fall due, governments across Europe need to decide whether to accept Putin’s terms or lose crucial supplies -- and run the risk of energy rationing. European gas prices surged as much as 17% as traders calculated the risk of other European countries being hit next. The threat of cutoffs has been looming for weeks, but there was an indication last week that the European Union was suggesting a potential way out of the standoff. The move against EU members Poland and Bulgaria probably makes some kind of compromise less likely. It also removes from the EU’s toolkit the option of sanctioning Russian gas. Read more.