Ten European buyers of Russian gas have opened special accounts in rubles at Gazprombank, and four have already made payments in Russian currency, Bloomberg news agency reported on Wednesday, citing sources close to Gazprom, EFE reports.
The Russian giant announced on Wednesday that it has stopped supplying gas to Poland and Bulgaria after the two countries rejected the mechanism proposed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, to pay in rubles for Russian gas amid Western sanctions on foreign exchange transactions with Russia, as following the country’s military campaign in Ukraine.
The source, who asked to speak on condition of anonymity, said there were no plans to suspend gas supplies until the second half of May, when other payments in rubles for Russian fuel were due.
Gazprom said on Wednesday that it had completely suspended gas supplies to Bulgargaz (Bulgaria) and PGNiG (Poland) because it had not received payments in rubles for April deliveries by the end of Tuesday, as set out in Putin’s decree. March 31 for “unfriendly” countries.
The Russian president on that day ordered “unfriendly” countries, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and all EU member states – where Russian gas accounts for 40 percent of consumption – to pay for Russian gas supplies in rubles. The mechanism designed by Russia stipulates that these countries considered hostile must open a special account in rubles and another in foreign currency at Gazprombank.
Separately, Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer said on Wednesday that Austria would continue to pay for Russian gas in euros, not rubles, as TASS had previously reported. Calling the TASS report “fake news” that Vienna paid in rubles for Russian gas, Nehammer wrote on Twitter that “Austria strictly complies with EU sanctions by mutual agreement.”
Speaking at a government meeting on the terms of payment between Austrian energy company OMV and Russian gas supplier Gazprom on Wednesday, Nehammer said Russian President Vladimir Putin had told him two weeks ago that euro payments would continue. to be accepted and that this remains unchanged.
Information received by dpa suggests that an agreement between OMV and Gazprom, according to which OMV will make payments in euros and Gazprom will convert them into rubles, has not been finalized.
In Austria, it is estimated that 80% of the imported gas comes from Russia.
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