EU nations and customers of Russian gas has reacted to the announcement by President Putin earlier today that Russia will only accept ruble as payment for its gas.
The German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said that it would be a breach of contract if Russia insists that gas purchases by EU countries have to be paid in rubles from now on.
It would be a breach of contract if Russia insists that gas purchases by EU countries have to be paid in roubles from now on, says German Economy Minister Robert Habeck. https://t.co/vUhLYyiq4o
— dpa news agency (@dpa_intl) March 23, 2022
German gas industry group Zukunft Gas said on Wednesday it was confused by the statement of Russian President Vladimir Putin about the switch of payments for Russian natural gas supplies to rubles.
Echoing the same confusion was Timm Kehler, the director general of Zukunft Gas, who told DPA agency;
“We took the message that Russia wants [us] to pay for gas supplies only in rubles with great confusion.
We can’t predict at this moment what specific implications this will have for the gas trade,” Kehler said.
The Austrain OMV however, said that it was going to continue to pay for Russian gas in euros. According to the head of the company, they have no other contractual basis.
Italy, the biggest buyer of Russian gas after Germany, said it wasn’t inclined to pay for Russia gas in rubles because it could help Putin weaken Europe’s sanction regime.
“My view is is that we pay in euros because paying in rubles would be a way to avoid sanctions, so I think we keep paying in euros,” Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s economic adviser Francesco Giavazzi said at the Bloomberg Capital Market Forum in Milan.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that gas sales to countries deemed unfriendly to Moscow would have to be paid in rubles.
Nnamdi Maduakor is a Writer, Investor and Entrepreneur
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