Officials in Poland and Bulgaria say Russia is suspending their countries’ natural gas deliveries starting on Wednesday.

Iran PressEurope: The governments of the two European countries said on Tuesday that Russian energy giant Gazprom told them it was halting gas supplies.

The suspensions would be the first since Russian President Vladimir Putin said last month that “unfriendly” foreign buyers would have to pay the state-owned Gazprom in roubles instead of dollars or euros.

Europe imports large amounts of Russian natural gas to heat homes, generate electricity and for the fuel industry. The imports have continued despite the war in Ukraine.

Around 60% of imports are paid in euros, and the rest in dollars. Putin’s demand was apparently intended to help bolster the Russian currency amid the war in Ukraine.

European leaders said they would not comply, arguing the requirement for them to purchase rubles and then pay Gazprom violated the terms of contracts and their sanctions against Russia. 219