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EuropeVladimir Putin confirms he will demand payment for Russian gas in rubles

Vladimir Putin confirms he will demand payment for Russian gas in rubles

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On Thursday, the Russian president said he had signed a decree requiring foreign buyers to pay in rubles for Russian gas deliveries from Friday 1 April, and providing for the suspension of current contracts if they do not comply.

Last week, Vladimir Putin announced that Gazprom’s European customers would have to pay their bills in rubles instead of euros or dollars. He presented this measure as a way to strengthen Russia’s “sovereignty” in the face of Western sanctions, including the freezing of part of the assets of its central bank.

“To buy Russian natural gas, they [companies importing Russian gas] must open ruble accounts in Russian banks. It is from these accounts that payments for gas delivered from tomorrow will be made,” the Russian president said in a televised address.

“If such payments are not made, we will consider this a default by the buyers, with all the consequences that follow. No one sells us anything for free, and we are not going to do charity either – that is, the existing contracts will be cancelled,” he said.

Europeans refuse, Olaf Scholz, the German chancellor announced that Europe will continue to pay for Russian gas in euros or dollars. at a press conference with his Austrian counterpart, Karl Nehammer.

“It is written in the contracts that payments are made in euros and sometimes in dollars,” “I told the Russian president clearly that it would remain so” and “companies want to be able to pay in euros and will do so,” he added.

French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire, at a press conference with German Economy Minister Robert Habeck, said, “There may be a situation where tomorrow, in very special circumstances, there will be no more Russian gas (…) it is up to us to prepare for these scenarios, and we are preparing for them.”

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