After stopping supplies from Moscow, what are Poland and Bulgaria alternatives to Russian gas?

Moscow announced that it would cut gas exports to Poland and Bulgaria, in response to their refusal to pay for them in rubles, in a move that puts the two countries in a severe crisis, as they depend on Russian gas to meet their energy needs, which prompts the question of their alternatives to get out of this difficult situation.

In implementation of Russian President Vladimir Putin's threat, previously on March 23, that his country would not supply gas to Europe unless it paid for it in rubles, the Russian gas giant "Gazprom" announced on Wednesday that it would stop supplying natural gas to Poland and Bulgaria, as a result of the two countries' non-payment Gas payments according to the aforementioned condition.

In its statement, "Gazprom" stated that it had stopped gas supplies to both the Bulgarian "Bulgaraz" company and the Polish "PGNIG" for not paying the value of gas imports in rubles. And it implicitly threatened to cut off gas supplies passing through the European countries "in case they seized it illegally".

In response, Polish Climate and Environment Minister Anna Moskva wrote on Twitter: "Poland has the necessary gas reserves and supply resources that protect our security, we have been effectively independent from Russia for years, and our warehouses are 75 percent full. Polish homes will have no shortage of gas." And the Bulgarian government assured its citizens that "there will be no interruption in the power supply to homes" as a result of the Russian decision.

After stopping supplies from Moscow, what are Poland and Bulgaria alternatives to Russian gas? Moscow announced that it would cut gas exports to Poland and Bulgaria, in response to their refusal to pay for them in rubles, in a move that puts the two countries in a severe crisis, as they depend on Russian gas to meet their energy needs, which prompts the question of their alternatives to get out of this difficult situation.  In implementation of Russian President Vladimir Putin's threat, previously on March 23, that his country would not supply gas to Europe unless it paid for it in rubles, the Russian gas giant "Gazprom" announced on Wednesday that it would stop supplying natural gas to Poland and Bulgaria, as a result of the two countries' non-payment Gas payments according to the aforementioned condition.  In its statement, "Gazprom" stated that it had stopped gas supplies to both the Bulgarian "Bulgaraz" company and the Polish "PGNIG" for not paying the value of gas imports in rubles. And it implicitly threatened to cut off gas supplies passing through the European countries "in case they seized it illegally".  In response, Polish Climate and Environment Minister Anna Moskva wrote on Twitter: "Poland has the necessary gas reserves and supply resources that protect our security, we have been effectively independent from Russia for years, and our warehouses are 75 percent full. Polish homes will have no shortage of gas." And the Bulgarian government assured its citizens that "there will be no interruption in the power supply to homes" as a result of the Russian decision.  Despite the assurances of both governments, Moscow's decision to cut gas supplies puts the two countries in a dilemma, as they are forced to search for alternatives to fill the shortfall left by the loss of Russian gas, while some of these alternatives cannot be effective at the near or medium level.  Poland turns to its neighbors  Poland relies on Russian gas to meet 50% of its needs, i.e. with a volume of imports of 10.2 billion cubic meters of gas. It must search for alternatives to fill this void after its loss. At the moment, the country has 75% of the gas reserves, which total 3.5 billion cubic meters. In addition to the 3.5 billion cubic meters per year produced locally by the state gas company BGNIG.  The table of alternatives before Poland is wide, on top of which is importing liquefied natural gas from Norway, of which the Polish Gas Company can provide 6 billion cubic meters annually, in addition to another 10 billion cubic meters of natural gas that the pipeline between Poland and Norway allows to provide. The Norwegian gas company "Ekenor" pledged in March to increase its production capacities to respond to the increasing European demand for gas.  Poland can get gas from Germany by reversing the direction of its pumping through the part of the Yamal line connecting them. From Lithuania, it can also obtain 2.5 billion cubic meters, through the line linking the two countries, which will enter service at the beginning of next May. From the Czech Republic, it can obtain 1.5 billion cubic meters through the pipeline between them, while a new gas pipeline will open between Slovakia and Poland later this year, which can supply the latter with 5-6 billion cubic meters annually.  Bulgaria and Racing Solutions Ltd.  Compared to Poland, cutting off Russian gas from Bulgaria puts the country in a more difficult situation than its counterpart in this fate, as it relies on Moscow to meet 90% of its gas needs, which in total amount to 3 billion cubic meters. Also, because the alternatives before Sofia are limited, unlike her counterpart in Warsaw.  Among the most prominent alternatives on the table is Azerbaijani gas, as Sofia and Baku have previously signed an agreement to supply it with one billion cubic meters of gas annually through the TurkStream pipeline, and these imports can be increased to 5 billion cubic meters annually, depending on the capacity of the pipeline. However, this solution is still impossible due to the significant delay in the construction works of the section linking Greece and Bulgaria, as the company working on the completion of his project requested last November an additional period of at least six months.  This leaves no solution for the country, according to its deputy prime minister , Asen Vasili, but to "work on importing liquefied natural gas shipments through Turkish and Greek ports."


Despite the assurances of both governments, Moscow's decision to cut gas supplies puts the two countries in a dilemma, as they are forced to search for alternatives to fill the shortfall left by the loss of Russian gas, while some of these alternatives cannot be effective at the near or medium level.

Poland turns to its neighbors

Poland relies on Russian gas to meet 50% of its needs, i.e. with a volume of imports of 10.2 billion cubic meters of gas. It must search for alternatives to fill this void after its loss. At the moment, the country has 75% of the gas reserves, which total 3.5 billion cubic meters. In addition to the 3.5 billion cubic meters per year produced locally by the state gas company BGNIG.

The table of alternatives before Poland is wide, on top of which is importing liquefied natural gas from Norway, of which the Polish Gas Company can provide 6 billion cubic meters annually, in addition to another 10 billion cubic meters of natural gas that the pipeline between Poland and Norway allows to provide. The Norwegian gas company "Ekenor" pledged in March to increase its production capacities to respond to the increasing European demand for gas.

Poland can get gas from Germany by reversing the direction of its pumping through the part of the Yamal line connecting them. From Lithuania, it can also obtain 2.5 billion cubic meters, through the line linking the two countries, which will enter service at the beginning of next May. From the Czech Republic, it can obtain 1.5 billion cubic meters through the pipeline between them, while a new gas pipeline will open between Slovakia and Poland later this year, which can supply the latter with 5-6 billion cubic meters annually.

Bulgaria and Racing Solutions Ltd.

Compared to Poland, cutting off Russian gas from Bulgaria puts the country in a more difficult situation than its counterpart in this fate, as it relies on Moscow to meet 90% of its gas needs, which in total amount to 3 billion cubic meters. Also, because the alternatives before Sofia are limited, unlike her counterpart in Warsaw.

Among the most prominent alternatives on the table is Azerbaijani gas, as Sofia and Baku have previously signed an agreement to supply it with one billion cubic meters of gas annually through the TurkStream pipeline, and these imports can be increased to 5 billion cubic meters annually, depending on the capacity of the pipeline. However, this solution is still impossible due to the significant delay in the construction works of the section linking Greece and Bulgaria, as the company working on the completion of his project requested last November an additional period of at least six months.

This leaves no solution for the country, according to its deputy prime minister , Asen Vasili, but to "work on importing liquefied natural gas shipments through Turkish and Greek ports."

Moscow releases an American soldier in exchange for a Russian pilot, and Biden comments on the deal

Moscow has released a former US Marine in exchange for the release of a Russian pilot imprisoned in the United States, after a long round of negotiations between the two sides.

Moscow announced Wednesday that it has released former US Marine Trevor Reid, who was imprisoned in Russia for assaulting a policeman, in exchange for Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko, who was convicted of drug smuggling in the United States.

“As a result of a protracted negotiation process, on April 27, 2022, the US citizen Trevor Reid, previously convicted in the Russian Federation, was released in exchange for the Russian citizen Konstantin Yaroshenko, who was sentenced by a US court to a term of imprisonment,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Telegram. 20 years in 2010.

For his part, US President Joe Biden stressed that the negotiations that led to the release of a former US marine imprisoned in Russia in exchange for a Russian prisoner in the United States required difficult decisions.

"The negotiations that allowed us to bring Trevor home required difficult decisions that I do not take lightly," Biden said, adding that "his safe return is a testament to the priority that my administrations place on repatriating Americans hostage and unjustly detained abroad."
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