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WARSAW/SOFIA/ KYIV: Russia halted gas supplies to Bulgaria and Poland on Wednesday for rejecting its demand for payment in roubles, taking direct aim at European economies in a move that also exposed divisions in the EU on how to respond to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

The decision, denounced by European leaders as “blackmail”, comes as Russia’s own economy wilts under sweeping international sanctions and as Western countries ramp up arms shipments to help Ukraine fend off a new Russian assault in the east. Ukraine reported on Wednesday that Russian troops had made gains in several villages there.

Russia reported a number of blasts on its side of the border, and a blaze at an arms depot. Kyiv called the explosions “karma”. Ukraine’s prosecutor-general said Russian forces had used tear gas and stun grenades to disperse a pro-Ukraine rally in the southern city of Kherson, the first big urban centre seized by Moscow after the Feb. 24 invasion. Despite the collapse in ties between Russia and the West, Moscow and Washington carried out a prisoner swap.

The United States freed Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko, jailed on drug trafficking charges. Russia released former US marine Trevor Reed, accused of fighting with police.

EU aims to zero dependence on Russian oil, gas by 2027

Gazprom, Russia’s gas export monopoly, said it had “completely suspended gas supplies” to the Polish and Bulgarian gas companies “due to absence of payments in roubles”, as stipulated in a decree from President Vladimir Putin that aims to soften the impact of sanctions on the Russian economy. Polish President Andrzej Duda said the move violated “basic legal principles”.

Bulgarian Energy Minister Alexander Nikolov said gas was being used as a “political and economic weapon”. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Russia remained a reliable energy supplier and denied it was engaging in blackmail. He declined to say how many countries had agreed to switch to paying for gas in roubles but other European customers said gas supplies were flowing normally.

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samir sardana Apr 28, 2022 08:58pm
As I said on APR 10, 2022 11:05PM on https://www.brecorder.com/news/40166374/ukraine-calls-for-more-sanctions-weapons-to-stop-russias-catastrophe,as under : "....... DESTROY EU MANUFACTURING & GERMAN MANUFACTURING" The 1st shot was fired on Poland - but the sonic boom is heard in Germany ! Same day "BOMB BLASTS" in Modova ! And Now Germany is thinking of paying for gas in roubles - as the future of German Industry is at stake ! If there is inflation,unemployment and industrial destruction in Germany/EU - Nazism and Nationalist parties will rise ! That will kill the soul of the EU ! Political and Social instability in EU + High Cost LNG for EU Industry and consumers = IMPLOSION OF EU , CAUSED BY PUTIN W/O AN EXPLOSION ! THAT WILL END NATO AND THE THREAT TO RUSSIA ! AND THEN,PUTIN IS TALKING OF AN IMPLOSIVE FISSION OF U-235 BOOSTED BY TRITIUM ! GERMANY SEES THE FUTURE ! dindooohindoo
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