• Gas supply cut to Poland; not a word about bulgaria
  • Ukraine accuses Russia of blackmailing Europe
  • Germany sends tanks to Ukraine
  • Farmers wear bulletproof vests to plow the fields

WARSAW/SOFIA/KYIV, April 27 (Reuters) – Russia halted gas supplies to Poland under the Yamal contract on Wednesday, data from the European Union network of gas transmission operators showed, in a deepening of the the rift between the West and Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

Bulgaria, like NATO and EU member Poland, previously said Russia would also stop gas supplies. There was no news early Wednesday whether supplies from Bulgaria were also cut off.

Ukraine has accused Russia of blackmailing Europe for energy in a bid to break its allies, as fighting nears a third month without Russia capturing a major city.

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The Kremlin’s staunch opponent, Poland, is among the European countries seeking the toughest sanctions against Russia for invading its neighbor.

Poland’s gas supply contract with energy giant Gazprom (GAZP.MM) is for 10.2 billion cubic meters (bcm) per year and covers around 50% of national consumption.

Poland’s state-owned PGNiG (PGN.WA) had said Gazprom’s supplies through Ukraine and Belarus would be cut off at 08:00 (0600 GMT) on Wednesday, but Poland said it did not need to draw on stocks and its gas storage was 76%. full.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has asked “enemy” countries to pay for gas imports in rubles, a demand that only a few buyers have implemented.

“The ultimate goal of the Russian leadership is not just to seize the territory of Ukraine, but to dismember the entire Central and Eastern Europe and deal a global blow to democracy,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Tuesday night. .

His chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, said Russia was “beginning to blackmail Europe for gas.”

“Russia is trying to break the unity of our allies,” Yermak said.

Bulgaria, which is almost entirely dependent on Russian gas imports, said it had fulfilled all of its contractual obligations to Gazprom and that the proposed new payment scheme was in breach of the agreement.

It has held initial talks to import liquefied natural gas through neighboring Turkey and Greece.

Gazprom said that it had not yet suspended supplies to Poland, but that Warsaw had to pay for the gas according to its new “payment order”. He declined to comment on Bulgaria.

The invasion of Ukraine, launched on February 24, has left thousands dead or injured, reduced towns and cities to rubble and forced more than 5 million people to flee abroad.

Moscow calls its actions a “special operation” to disarm Ukraine and protect it from fascists.

Ukraine and the West say this is a false pretext for an unprovoked war to seize territory in a move that has sparked fears of a wider conflict in Europe not seen since World War II.

Russia’s ambassador to the United States warned Washington to stop sending arms to Ukraine, saying large Western arms deliveries were inflaming the situation.

More than 40 countries met in Germany on Tuesday to discuss the defense of Ukraine.

Mark Milley, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters as he flew into Tuesday’s meeting that the next few weeks in Ukraine would be “very, very critical.”

Germany on Tuesday announced its first delivery of heavy weapons to Ukraine, including Gepard tanks equipped with anti-aircraft guns. read more

Ukraine’s calls for heavy weapons have intensified since Moscow shifted its offensive to the eastern Donbas region, seen as more suitable for tank battles than areas around the capital kyiv, where much of the earlier fighting took place. .

A series of explosions were heard early Wednesday in the Russian city of Belgorod, near the border with Ukraine, regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said, and an ammunition depot in the province was set on fire.

Gladkov said no civilians were injured in the fire that broke out at a facility near the village of Staraya Nelidovka. Russia this month accused Ukraine of attacking a fuel depot in Belgorod with helicopters and opening fire on several villages in the province.

Belgorod province borders Ukraine’s Luhansk, Sumy and Kharkiv regions, all of which have been the scene of heavy fighting since Russia invaded Ukraine two months ago.

Fighting continued in eastern and southern Ukraine.

Ukrainian farmers in the southern region of Zaporizhzhia, which borders the front line, wear bulletproof vests to plow their fields. read more

Russia’s Defense Ministry said its forces had “liberated” the entire Kherson region of southern Ukraine and parts of the Zaporizhzhia, Mykolaiv and Kharkiv regions, the Interfax news agency reported. If confirmed, that would represent a significant Russian advance.

Ukrainian authorities on Tuesday dismantled a huge Soviet-era monument in central kyiv that symbolized friendship with Russia, according to the city’s mayor.

The eight-meter (27-foot) bronze statue depicted a Ukrainian and Russian worker on a pedestal, holding together an order of Soviet friendship. The statue was under a giant titanium “Peoples’ Friendship Arch,” erected in 1982 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Soviet Union.

“Now we see what this ‘friendship’ is: the destruction of Ukrainian cities… killing tens of thousands of peaceful people. I am convinced that this monument has a completely different meaning now,” said kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klitschko.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told Russia’s foreign minister on Tuesday that he was ready to fully mobilize the organization’s resources to save lives and evacuate people from the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol.

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Additional reporting by Reuters journalists; Written by Costas Pitas and Michael Perry; Edited by Rosalba O’Brien, Robert Birsel

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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