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Russia shuts gas spigot to Denmark as energy war over Ukraine escalates

Denmark’s largest energy company says Russia has cut off its gas supply because it refused to pay in rubles, the latest escalation over European energy amid the war in Ukraine.

Russia previously halted natural gas supplies to Finland, Poland and Bulgaria for refusing a demand to pay in rubles. And on Tuesday, the tap was turned off to the Netherlands.

Danish energy company Ørsted says it still expects to be able to serve its customers.

“We stand firm in our refusal to pay in rubles, and we’ve been preparing for this scenario,” Ørsted CEO Mads Nipper said. ”The situation underpins the need of the EU becoming independent of Russian gas by accelerating the build-out of renewable energy.”

In response to Western sanctions imposed against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree saying foreign buyers needed to pay in rubles for Russian gas as of April 1.

“This is totally not acceptable,” Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen says. “This is a kind of blackmailing from Putin. We continue to support Ukraine, and we distance ourselves from the crimes that Putin and Russia commit.”

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