Poland: Russia Threatened to Halt Yamal Pipeline Gas Wednesday

(Reuters) — Russian energy giant Gazprom told Poland's PGNiG it will halt gas supplies along the Yamal pipeline from Wednesday morning, PGNiG said in a statement, although the Polish government said it had sufficient reserves.


Earlier, data from the European Union network of gas transmission operators showed physical gas flows via the Yamal-Europe pipeline from Belarus to Poland had halted, but they resumed later on Tuesday.


Poland's energy supplies are secure, Poland's climate ministry said on Tuesday, adding that there was no need to draw from gas reserves and that gas to consumers would not be cut.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has demanded that countries he terms "unfriendly" following his invasion of Ukraine agree to implement a scheme under which they would open accounts at Gazprombank and make payments for Russian gas imports in euros or dollars that would be converted into roubles.

Gazprom said on Tuesday that Poland would need to begin making payments under a new scheme as of Tuesday. It did not elaborate and did not comment on PGNiG's statement about the possible gas supply stoppage.

Poland, whose gas deal with Russia expires at the end of this year, has repeatedly said it would not comply with the new scheme of gas payments. It has also said it would not extend the contract.

Poland's contract with Gazprom is for 10.2 billion cubic meters per year, and covers about 50% of national consumption.

PGNiG said on Tuesday it would take steps to reinstate the flow of gas according to the Yamal contract and that any halt of supplies was a breach of that contract.

It added it has the right to pursue damages over breach of contract.

Earlier Tuesday, Poland announced a list of 50 Russian oligarchs and companies, including Gazprom, that would be subject to sanctions under a law passed earlier this month allowing their assets to be frozen. The law is separate from sanctions imposed jointly by EU countries.

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