Poland's prime minister has lashed out at Russia for trying to "blackmail" his country with an abrupt cut-off of gas supplies, and accused the nation of taking revenge for new sanctions imposed by Warsaw this week.
Hours after sanctions were announced targeting 50 Russian oligarchs and companies — including energy giant Gazprom — Poland said it had received notice that Gazprom was cutting off supplies to Poland for failing to comply with new demands to pay in Russian rubles. Gazprom is also expected to shut off gas to Bulgaria.
Hungary and Austria said gas supplies were normal.
Speaking to the Polish parliament, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki vowed that Poland would not be cowed by the gas cut-off. He said Poland was safe thanks to years of efforts aimed at securing gas from other countries.
Lawmakers stood and applauded when he said that Russia's "gas blackmail" would have no effect on his country.
While Poland is far more dependent on coal, with gas only accounting for nine per cent of the country's overall energy use, Russia supplied about 45 per cent of the country's gas.
Russian supplies to Poland were already due to end later this year and Poland had already made new plans. A new pipeline, The Baltic Pipe Project, is due to become operational in the fall.
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