Thus, the sanctions of the European Union will not be violated if the companies declare that the contractual obligations of payment in euro or dollars have been fulfilled, according to the German Ministry of Economy, reports Reuters.
The announcement comes as Russia halted gas supplies to Bulgaria and Poland this week for refusing to pay in rubles, a decision that raised fears that other countries could be targeted.
The Moscow decree states that Gazprombank will open special “K” type accounts for gas payments from foreign buyers. A European Union company would transfer foreign currency to such an account, and then a Russian bank would convert the currency into rubles and transfer rubles to another “K” account, which belongs to the Russian energy giant Gazprom.
The Member States of the European Union have taken different positions on accepting this payment scheme in the context of a breach of the Union’s sanctions on Russia.
Russia’s decree states that the buyer’s obligation will be considered fulfilled only when the rubles reach Gazprom’s account.
“There are European rules on payment methods that form the framework for us and to which we adhere,” a spokesman for the German economy ministry said in an e-mailed statement on Friday.
“According to these rules, the K account, in which the payment is made in euros / dollars, does not violate the sanctions in case the companies declare that contracts with payment in euros or dollars have been fulfilled”.
A government source said it was irrelevant in which country the K account was opened as long as the bank in question was not on any sanctions list.
The European Commission will provide additional guidance to EU countries on the possibility of continuing to pay for Russian gas without violating the bloc’s sanctions, a Commission official said on Friday.
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