Russia said that on Wednesday it will be pausing gas supply shipments to Poland and Bulgaria on Wednesday after blasts in a near-by breakaway region of Moldova resulted in Kyiv accusing Moscow of trying to expand the war further into Europe.

While Bulgaria is far more dependent on Russian gas than Poland, Russian energy giant Gazprom told the two nations that it will be cutting off supplies.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has dragged into its third month, stunning the world and Europe in particular.

Prime Minister of Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki said the nation’s gas storage facilities were at 76 per cent capacity, adding that Poland was ready to seek further supplies from alternative sources.

Poland imports LNG through a terminal located on the Baltic coast, and is reportedly expective to receive gas from Norway via the Baltic Pipe project, expected to be completed later this year. It is also expected to cover around half of Poland’s gas consumption.

On its part, Bulgaria’s authorities have said that its state-owned gas operators, Bulgargaz and Bulgartransgaz “have undertaken steps for alternative agreements for natural gas deliveries and for coping with the current situation”.

The Bulgarian Government also said that at this stage, there is no need to restrict consumption of gas.

Bulgaria is almost entirely dependent on Russian gas for its annual consumption of about 3.0 billion cubic metres.

The Balkan nation receives only a small portion from Azerbaijan that it hopes to increase after completing a key pipe link to neighbouring Greece later this year. 

The country’s long-term contract with Gazprom expires at the end of this year.

Moldova

This week, explosions were reported in the neighbouring Moldova region of Transnistria, with the state security ministry, a radio tower and a military unit being targeted.

The region has been occupied by pro-Putin forces for decades, while the attacks follow a Kremlin commander’s claims that Russian speakers in the country were being oppressed. This is a similar claim being made about so-called ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine.

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