Vladimir Putin signs a decree to impose payment in rubles for Russian gas

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Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Thursday, March 31, that he had signed a decree requiring buyers from “unfriendly” foreign countries to pay in rubles for natural gas deliveries from Friday, and stipulated the suspension of contracts current if they did not comply.

Vladimir Putin announced on Thursday that buyers of Russian gas from “enemy” countries will have to pay, from Friday, in rubles from accounts in Russia or risk being deprived of supply, a measure that affects the Union in particular. European. However, the gas price continues to be denominated in the currency of the current contracts, normally in euros or dollars.

« They must open ruble accounts in Russian banks. And from these accounts they will have to pay for the gas delivered, and this, starting tomorrow “Vladimir Putin declared on television after signing a decree to this effect. He added that in case of refusal, “ current contracts will be terminated ». « Failure to make these payments will be considered a breach of obligations by the buyer, and this will have all the necessary consequences. “Insisted the Russian president.

► Read also: G7: Requesting payment for Russian gas in rubles is ‘not acceptable’

He recalled that this measure was a response to the freezing of some 300,000 million dollars of foreign exchange reserves that Russia had abroad, a sanction decided by the West in retaliation for the Russian offensive in Ukraine.

Moscow published a list of “unfriendly” countries in early March, which includes the United States, members of the European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Switzerland, Taiwan, South Korea, etc., Norway and Australia.

Berlin and Paris categorically refuse to pay in rubles

Germany and France prepare to a possible halt in imports of Russian gas, the governments of both countries have said. “ There may be a situation where tomorrow […] there will be no more russian gas “, and ” it’s up to us to prepare these scenarios, and we prepare them French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said during a press conference with German Economy Minister Robert Habeck.

Berlin and Paris have simultaneously reiterated their refusal to pay for Russian gas deliveries in rubles, as requested by Vladimir Putin. “ It is written in the contracts that payments are made in euros and sometimes in dollars. “, has explained German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at a separate press conference also held in Berlin on Thursday. “ I made it clear to the Russian president that it will remain so ” and “ companies want to be able to pay in euros and they will do so “, he added.

« Contracts provide for a currency in which they are executed and therefore contracts must be executed in the currency provided “, Bruno Le Maire hammered for his part. “ Contracts are contracts. “, he added.

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