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    Bulgaria joins Poland on Gazprom's no-ruble blacklist


Bulgargaz had argued Russia's demand violated the terms of its existing long-term supply deal.

by: Callum Cyrus

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Bulgaria joins Poland on Gazprom's no-ruble blacklist

Bulgaria has had its gas supplies from Gazprom suspended as it has not offered to pay its demand in rubles.

Gazprom said on April 27 it had halted gas deliveries to Bulgaria's Bulgargaz due to an "absence" of ruble payments. It also confirmed it has switched off the Polish supply through PGNiG, as had emerged in a statement from the latter company yesterday.

The Kremlin in March placed Bulgaria, an EU and NATO member, on its list of "unfriendly countries" that have opposed its so-called military operation in Ukraine. The country imports 90% of its gas from Russia via the Black Sea through the 31.5bn m3/year TurkStream pipeline.

Bulgargaz previously said the ruble demand breached the terms of its long-term supply agreement with Gazprom. It has also entered into negotiations with Turkey and Greece to arrange for extra LNG imports as a backup.

In Greece, Bulgaria has purchased capacity at an LNG terminal in Alexandoupolis that is being built by local gas company Gastrade, Reuters reported on March 10. It has acquired import capacity for 500mn m3 of LNG over 10 years, as well as a 20% equity stake in the 6.1bn m3 terminal. The project is currently expected to begin operations in the third quarter.