Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Russia will demand payment in rubles for the sale of gas from rival countries, raising fears of a rise in European gas prices.
According to the foreign news agency Reuters, since February 24, when Moscow sent troops to Ukraine and consequently imposed economic sanctions on Western countries to isolate Russia economically, European countries have been using Russian gas. The issue of dependence has become important.
In the midst of the financial crisis and the divisive situation in the European Union over Russia’s energy embargo, Putin responded with a clear message: “If you want our gas, buy our currency.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a televised meeting with top government ministers that Russia would certainly continue to supply gas in accordance with agreements reached on volume and prices.
He said that the changes were being made only in the currency for payment, ie now the payments would be made in Russian rubles.
Russian gas accounts for about 40% of Europe’s total gas consumption.
The Russian ruble hit a three-week high against the dollar after Russia’s announcement, but the currency is still about 20 percent lower than it was on February 24, despite the currency’s appreciation.
A senior analyst said that this seems to be an attempt to increase the value of the ruble by forcing the buyers of gas to buy the falling currency for payment.
Vladimir Putin said the government and the central bank should work out a solution within a week on how to transfer payments in Russian currency, as well as the gas company Gazprom (GAZPMM) in gas deals. Will be ordered to make changes.
Due to the reluctance of major banks to trade in Russian currency, Russian gas buyers in the EU could not immediately explain how they would pay for the gas, while several major European gas buyers are currently commenting on the matter. Has refused
Moscow has described its actions in Ukraine as a special military operation to disarm its neighbor, while Ukraine and its Western allies have called it a baseless excuse for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. There are fears of a wider conflict in Europe.
Breaking the Rules?
According to Gazprom, as of January 27, 27% of its 58% share of natural gas sales to Europe and other countries was in European currency, while about 39% of gas was in dollars and 3% in sterling.
The European Commission says it intends to reduce the EU’s dependence on Russian gas by two-thirds this year and end its dependence on Russian fuel supplies before 2030.
But unlike the United States and Britain, the EU states have not agreed to impose sanctions on Russia because of its dependence on the energy sector.
The executives of the 27-nation European Commission did not immediately return calls seeking comment.
A senior Polish government official says Russia’s move violates existing payment rules in existing agreements, and that Poland has no plans to sign new agreements with Gazprom after its long-term agreement expires later this year.
Russia has compiled a list of non-friendly countries. The list of non-friendly countries includes the United States, EU member states, the United Kingdom, Japan, Canada, Norway, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, and Ukraine. Some countries on the list, including Norway, are not buyers of Russian gas.