Russia has opened a new front in its war over Ukraine, cutting off two European Union nations, Poland and Bulgaria, from its gas.
That represents a dramatic escalation in a conflict that is increasingly becoming a wider battle with the West. One day after the United States and Western allies vowed to speed more and better military supplies to Ukraine, the Kremlin upped the ante, using its most essential export as leverage.
European gas prices shot up on the news. The Kremlin then went even further, saying Wednesday that Russia could halt gas supplies to other European customers.
While the United States previously cut off purchases of Russian energy, European nations have been more apprehensive.
European Union Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the EU is working on a response to Russia's actions.
"The announcement by Gazprom that it is unilaterally stopping delivery of gas to customers in Europe is yet another attempt by Russia to use gas as an instrument of blackmail," von der Leyen said. "This is unjustified and unacceptable."