Gazprom said that it has fully cut supplies of its gas to NATO member countries Poland and Bulgaria for refusing to pay in Russian rubles.

The Russian energy firm has cautioned to do the same to other countries as part of a counter against Western sanctions imposed due to Russia’s war on Ukraine.

It tweeted: “Gazprom fully halts gas supplies to Bulgaria’s Bulgargaz and Poland’s PGNiG due to their failure to pay in rubles.”

Poland’s state-controlled PGNiG has been issued a letter from Gazprom that informed it about a total halt of supplies under the Yamal contract.

PGNiG and GAZ-SYSTEM, the Polish natural gas transmission system operator, stated that currently all supplies to customers are being made according to their demand. The two firms are said to be monitoring the situation and are prepared for various scenarios.

Presently, the GAZ-SYSTEM-managed transmission infrastructure is operating without any disruption.

PGNiG said that it is prepared to procure gas from multiple directions, including through gas interconnections on the western and southern borders and the LNG terminal in Świnoujście in northwest Poland.

Gazprom has stopped gas supplies in line with last month’s decree of Russian President Vladimir Putin on the special procedure for the fulfillment by foreign purchasers of obligations to Russian natural gas suppliers.

PGNiG stated: “The decree has led to attempts to make it mandatory for some of Gazprom’s customers to hold settlement accounts in a bank under the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation and to make final payments for gas in Russian rubles.”

The Polish company’s management board has opposed the payment arrangement in rubles saying that it contradicts the Yamal contract. PGNiG said that it has decided to make payments as mentioned in the contract.

Responding to the suspension of supplies by Gazprom, Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov said that his country was studying all of its contracts with the Russian energy firm. Bulgaria claims to have taken steps overnight to identify alternative sources and that currently no curbs on gas consumption are needed for Bulgarians, reported BBC.

Meanwhile, the European Union (EU) President Ursula von der Leyen has called Gazprom’s move as another provocation from the Kremlin. Von der Leyen said that the EU will make sure that the Russian firm’s decision has the minimum possible effect on European consumers.

Poland and Bulgaria are already said to be receiving gas from their EU neighbours.

The EU President said: “Our action plan REPowerEU will help to significantly reduce our dependency on Russian fossil fuels already this year. We have also reached an agreement with the US to provide additional LNG imports this year and the following ones.

“And we are working hand in hand with our Member States to secure alternative gas supply from other partners, too.”