• Moscow and Europe are fighting over how gas should be paid for
  • Polish Climate Ministry to hold briefing at 7:15 pm CET

Article by By Maciej Onoszko and Maciej Martewicz – Bloomberg

Russia has halted gas deliveries to Poland, according to news website Onet.pl, the latest ratcheting up of tensions between Moscow and European capitals over crucial energy supplies. 

European gas prices surged as much as 17% after the report, which cited government sources it didn’t name. Without confirming the report, the Polish government said it has enough gas in storage, and the gas system operator said it was ready for potential cuts.

Moscow and Europe are locked in a standoff over how gas should be paid for and President Vladimir Putin has threatened to halt supplies if his demands aren’t met. The Kremlin has said that gas must be bought in rubles but the European Union considers that would breach sanctions — and also strengthen Putin’s hand unacceptably. 

Poland, which has been vociferous in its calls for harsher measures against Russia over the war in Ukraine, has made clear it won’t pay in rubles. It reiterated that position on Tuesday.

Gazprom PJSC wasn’t immediately available to comment.

The deadline is approaching for the first payments for April gas supplies to be made — and European officials and executives are trying to figure out how best to respond. Europe is hugely dependent on Russian gas, and has so far mostly shielded energy from sanctions.

Share of Natural Gas Imports Coming From Russia, 2020

The portal said the information was confirmed by Polish government officials as well as representatives of the country’s dominant gas company PGNiG SA. Interfax reported separately that Poland has not received natural gas from the east via the Yamal-Europe highway since the early morning of April 26, citing data from gas operators.

Poland is ready for potential cuts in gas deliveries and consumers won’t experience shortages on Tuesday, Iwona Dominiak, a spokesperson for the country’s gas system operator Gaz System, told Bloomberg. She said the operator isn’t party to PGNiG’s gas supply contract with Russia’s Gazprom and can’t comment on the Onet.pl report.

Separate data from the Polish operator show that orders for Russian gas for Wednesday from Belarus to Poland have slumped to almost zero. That’s an indication of what clients plan to ship and doesn’t necessarily reflect actual flows.

The zloty also fell after the report.