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Russia's gas giant Gazprom has cut off supplies of natural gas to Bulgaria and Poland, reawakening Europe's fears that supplies could be cut short by the clash between Russia and the West over Moscow's demand that it be paid in rubles.

Poland and Bulgaria have long-term contracts with Gazprom, which expire at the end of the year, and accuse the gas giant of violating them.

Russia has stopped gas supplies: What's next for Bulgaria?

The following is an overview of the possibilities available to Europe in the event that Russia suspends supplies to other countries:

How dependent Europe is on Russian gas

About 40 percent of Europe's gas supplies come from Russia, mostly through pipelines built to transport blue fuel.

Last year's deliveries amounted to about 155 billion cubic meters, of which 52 billion were delivered in transit through Ukraine or on nearby routes, Reuters reported, quoted by BTA.

Alternative routes include the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline, which crosses Belarus and Poland and reaches Germany, and Nord Stream 1, which runs under the Baltic Sea and reaches Germany again.

In recent years, most European countries have reduced their dependence on Russian gas.

In 2021, the transit corridor through Ukraine was used mainly for transport to Slovakia, and from there to Austria and Italy.

Bulgaria and Poland have announced they will not renew their contracts with Gazprom at the end of the year and are looking for alternative supplies.

The EU has said it wants to reduce Russian gas imports by two-thirds this year and end its dependence on it "well before 2030."

The cessation of gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria does not affect supplies to the Serbian market

Where else can Europe get gas?

Some countries have alternatives.

The European gas network is interconnected so that supplies can be shared, but supply to the international gas market has shrunk since before the Ukrainian crisis.

Germany, Europe's largest gas consumer, which halted Russia's Nord Stream 2 pipeline approval process because of the war in Ukraine, can import gas through pipelines from Britain, Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands.

The Norwegian company Equinor has announced that it will try to increase gas production from its fields in Norway during the upcoming summer season in Europe - a period when maintenance usually reduces production.

Southern Europe can receive Azerbaijani gas via the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Italy and the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) via Turkey.

The United States will try to supply the EU with 15 billion cubic meters of liquefied natural gas this year, transatlantic partners said last week.

US liquefied petroleum gas plants are operating at full capacity, and analysts say any additional amounts of blue fuel coming from the United States will effectively divert volumes that were previously destined for export elsewhere.

European liquefied gas terminals also have limited capacity to meet additional quantities, although some European countries say they are considering ways to increase that capacity.

Germany is among the countries that want to build new liquefied gas terminals.

It intends to build two quickly in the next two years.

In theory, this could provide enough natural gas to cover about a third of Russia's imports, but Berlin will have to procure them first, and this will not be easy in the liquefied gas markets, where supply is already shrinking. .

Poland, which satisfies about 50 percent of its gas consumption (or about 10 billion cubic meters) by importing from Russia, has said it can secure gas through two links with Germany.

One of them is reversible from the Yamal gas pipeline.

Other options for Poland include a 2.5 billion cubic meter connection with Lithuania, which will be operational on May 1, and an interconnector with the Czech Republic for up to 1.5 billion cubic meters.

Another 5-6 billion cubic meters could come in connection with Slovakia, which will be operational later this year.

In addition, the Polish gas company PGNiG can import up to 6 billion cubic meters through the liquefied gas terminal in Swinoujscie on the Baltic Sea;

it also produces over 3 billion cubic meters per year in Poland itself.

A gas pipeline will be opened in October, allowing up to 10 billion cubic meters a year to be transferred between it and Norway.

Bulgaria, which has an annual gas consumption of about 3 billion cubic meters and 90 percent of its imports come from Russia, has agreed to receive 1 billion cubic meters of Azerbaijani gas, but will be able to take full advantage of the agreement only when - Late this year, a pipeline between it and Greece started operating.

A well-informed Greek source told Reuters that Athens could help Sofia by reversing the flow from the Turkish Stream gas pipeline, a mechanism used before.

This pipeline carries Russian gas to Greece through the Black Sea, Turkey and Bulgaria.

Gazprom: Gas supplies to Bulgaria and Poland have been suspended

Are there other ways to deal with a possible crisis in gas supplies

Several countries can fill any energy supply gaps by importing electricity through interconnectors from their neighbors or by increasing electricity production from nuclear, renewable, hydropower and coal facilities.

The European Commission has announced that 60 billion cubic meters of Russian supplies could be replaced this year with the help of gas, including liquefied gas, from countries such as the United States and Qatar.

By 2030, increased use of biomethane and hydrogen may also be beneficial.

This year, new wind and solar projects can compensate for 20 billion cubic meters. Triple the capacity by 2030 by adding new capacity to another 480 gigawatts of wind and 420 gigawatts of solar energy. 170 billion cubic meters per year.

Reducing thermostats by 1 degree could save another 10 billion cubic meters a year, and replacing gas boilers with 30 million heat pumps by 2030 could save 35 billion cubic meters, the commission added.

The availability of nuclear energy in Belgium, the United Kingdom, France and Germany is declining as these facilities cannot produce enough, either due to aging or decommissioning.

Europe is trying to give up coal in order to achieve its climate goals, but since the middle of last year, due to rising gas prices, some coal-fired power plants have been switched on again.

Earlier this month, however, the European Commission said it intends to ban Russian coal imports from August, meaning EU countries will have to seek alternative supplies from Australia, Colombia, the United States and other countries.

Germany has said it could extend the life of its coal or nuclear power plants to limit its dependence on Russian gas.

Many European countries have envisaged measures to manage gas supplies and even electricity regime in the event that Russia's gas flows stop.

Germany is already launching an "early warning" phase - the first of a three-stage emergency plan.

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