The fact that Russia has turned off the gas tap for Poland and Bulgaria is the result of “unfriendly steps” by European countries. Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said.
“The need for a new payment method arose from unprecedented unfriendly steps against Russia in economic and financial terms by unfriendly countries.”
Peskov stressed that Western countries blocked Russian reserves at foreign central banks. “Or, to put it bluntly, they stole it from us.” According to Peskov, stopping the gas supply will therefore not involve blackmail, as European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said earlier Wednesday.
Russia had already announced at the end of March that buyers from so-called unfriendly countries would have to pay for their gas in rubles. This category includes all countries of the European Union. However, it remained unclear for a long time whether Russia would also dare to turn off the gas tap. That has now happened in two countries, but larger customers such as Germany and Italy are still supplied with gas.
Slovakia, which depends on Russia for 85 percent of its gas needs, also said it did not foresee any problems with the supply of gas and oil. As a neighbour of Ukraine, Slovakia is one of the countries where a gas pipeline from Russia enters the EU.