Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, has criticised Russia’s decision to halt gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria, and vowed to make the EU independent from Russian fossil fuels.
On Monday morning, Russian gas giant Gazprom stopped the flow of natural gas to Poland and Bulgaria quoting Vladimir Putin’s decree that ordered payments for Russian gas have to be made in roubles, a demand the two countries rejected.
“Gazprom’s announcement is another attempt by Russia to blackmail us with gas,” von der Leyen wrote on Twitter. “We are prepared for this scenario. We are mapping out our coordinated EU response.
“Europeans can trust that we stand united and in solidarity with the member states impacted,” she added.
“We will ensure that Gazprom’s decision has the least possible impact on EU consumers,” she also said. “Poland and Bulgaria are now receiving gas from their EU neighbours.”
Poland is close to reaching full independence from Russian gas thanks to an enlargement of its Liquefied Natural Gas terminal on the Baltic Sea coast and a new pipeline that will soon pump natural gas from Norwegian shelf deposits to Poland.