Russia on Wednesday abruptly halted natural gas supplies to Bulgaria and Poland, stepping up retaliatory measures against countries assisting Ukraine in its bid to fight off Moscow.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia was responding to the countries’ refusal to pay in rubles, which Moscow sorely needs in the wake of Western sanctions that have frozen Russian reserves. Other countries that do not fall in line should expect the same, the Kremlin warned.

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