Alexey Belogoryev, Deputy Principal Director on Energy Studies of the Institute for Energy and Finance, commented to the Internet portal Baltnews on the situation related to the suspension of gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria after they refused to pay according to the scheme proposed by Moscow.
As Alexey Belogoryev told Baltnews, there is a chance that this experiment will be successful, at least in the short term:
“When we are talking about abandoning Russian gas, we must also take into account the time of the year. Now is the most favorable period during which the suspension of supplies will be the least painful for consumers. However, it is also the least beneficial in terms of pressure on Gazprom.
"The heating season has already ended, and in May gas consumption in Poland and Bulgaria is 20-25% less than in April, and about 35-40% less than in March. It is also worth noting that Poland is the only country in the EU, except for Portugal, which has very high reserves in UGS (almost 70% filled, about 2.6 billion cubic meters). This country has secured itself in many ways. But in Bulgaria, things are worse and gas reserves are at an extremely low level - UGS are filled only by 17% (about 90 million cubic meters)," the expert noted.
“In fact, stopping gas imports to these countries is a trial step that the main Western European consumers are watching. Gazprom is now waiting for their reaction, but it is not yet certain whether it will be able to push through its position. Today in Europe there is a very negative attitude towards the idea payments in rubles and pressure from a Russian company. There will be no easy solution to this crisis in any case," Alexey Belogoryev concluded.
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