Moscow announced that it will be cutting off gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria as of Wednesday, according to a Bloomberg report.
Russia had previously threatened to cease gas supplies to any country that refuses Russian President Vladimir Putin’s stipulation that countries pay for Russia’s gas in rubles, but the European Union has insisted that in doing so, sanctions on Russia would be breeched.
Poland and Bulgaria are both members of the European Union, and the decision to cut off their gas is a major escalation in the fight. Both countries are also members of NATO.
Poland has also served as the main country housing refugees from neighboring Ukraine.
The warnings that gas would soon be cut off came from two different suppliers, PGNiG and Gazprom, according to Bloomber.
Asked about the development, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Tuesday that the administration has been working for several months to increase natural gas supply and options for countries in Europe in anticipation of Russia potentially cutting off gas supplies to European nations.
Last week, the EU announced a series of steps for residents to take to cut back on their energy consumption to aid Ukraine in the fight against Russia.
“Using less energy is not only an immediate way for EU citizens to reduce their bills, but it also supports Ukraine by reducing the need for Russian oil and gas, thereby helping to reduce the revenue streams funding the invasion,” said the European Commission.