Russian President Vladimir Putin announced last week that Moscow would accept only the ruble as a means of payment for natural gas supplies to “unfriendly” countries, including EU member states. effective April 1.
EU member states, where Gazprom supplies 40 percent of its natural gas, have said they refuse to pay Russian gas in rubles. Germany is Russia’s largest customer for natural gas.
Gazprom officials did not immediately respond to requests from Reuters to comment on the information.
On Wednesday, the German government indicated that Russian President Vladimir Putin had assured Chancellor Olaf Scholz that Europe could continue to pay for Russian gas in euros and not in rubles, as Moscow had recently ordered.
German government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said Putin had assured Scholz that Europe’s payments next month “will continue to be in euros and will be transferred as usual to Gazprom Bank, which is not hit by sanctions.” will deal with the conversion into rubles.
Germany issued an “early warning” on Wednesday, the first step in Germany’s emergency plan to secure gas supplies, a plan designed to reduce the risk of disrupting or stopping supplies of gas from Russia, EurActiv and Reuters reported.
According to Germany’s emergency plan to guarantee gas supply, early warning is the first of three stages of the plan and does not involve state intervention to rationalize gas, a measure that is only considered in the last stage.
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