Russian Gazprom to halt gas deliveries to Bulgaria
Russia will stop its gas shipments to Bulgaria starting Wednesday in light of tensions with the West over the situation in Ukraine.
Russian gas giant Gazprom has informed Bulgaria that it would be halting its shipments of Russian gas starting Wednesday, the Bulgarian economy ministry announced Tuesday.
"Bulgargaz received a notification today, April 26, that natural gas supplies from Gazprom Export will be suspended starting April 27," the ministry of the country, which is highly dependent on Russian gas, said.
Sofia also claimed that it had fully met its obligations and made all payments required in a timely manner, strictly following the terms of its current contract with Gazprom.
Russian energy company Gazprom highlighted that over the past winter, Europe withdrew 51 billion cubic meters of gas from underground storage, which is 107.8% of the volume pumped there in summer, ending the season on March 19 at one of the lowest levels in terms of reserves in many years.
The gas giant had announced that it was quitting its business in Germany in light of high tensions over energy between Berlin and Moscow after the latter asked for payments in rubles instead of euros.
The energy firm did not elaborate on its decision to end its participation in Gazprom Germania and all of its assets, which include subsidiaries in several European countries.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov had said his country would not deliver gas to Europe for free, in a reiteration of President Vladimir Putin's that Russia would not accept anything but rubles for gas deliveries to "unfriendly countries".
The list of unfriendly countries includes the US, Canada, the EU, the UK, Montenegro, Switzerland, Albania, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, North Macedonia, and also Japan, South Korea, Australia, Micronesia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Taiwan.
However, Bulgaria later joined the West in its bid to sanction Russia over the war in Ukraine, expelling more Russian diplomats on suspicion of "spying", just two weeks after declaring 10 Russian diplomats "personae non grata".
The move came following allegations from the Bulgarian prosecution that the diplomats were "involved in unregulated intelligence activity," claiming they were collecting "information of national importance."
Bulgaria had recalled its ambassador to Russia a week prior for consultations after tensions between its Prime Minister, Kiril Petkov, and Russian envoy Eleonora Mitrofanova.