Putin says ‘unfriendly’ countries to pay for gas purchases in rubles
Moscow, Mar 23 (EFE).- President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday said Russia will demand “unfriendly countries,” which include European Union member states, pay for their natural gas deliveries only in rubles.
“I have decided to implement a series of measures to transfer payment for our gas supplies to unfriendly countries into Russian rubles,” Putin said during a government meeting.
The Russian leader pointed out the changes will enter into effect as soon as possible.
“I asked the government to give proper instructions to Gazprom to amend the existing contracts. At the same time, all foreign consumers must have the opportunity to carry out the necessary operations,” he added.
On March 8, the Russian government made a list of the unfriendly countries and territories, which includes the United States and Canada, all EU countries, the United Kingdom, Ukraine, Montenegro, Switzerland, Albania, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, North Macedonia, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Micronesia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Taiwan.
Putin pointed out that “over the last few weeks, as you know, various Western countries have made illegitimate decisions about freezing Russian assets, and this collective West has actually drawn a line under the reliability of their currencies,” he said.
The EU is heavily reliant on Russian energy imports, which account for more than 40% of the EU overall consumption.
Putin, however, said that gas deliveries will not be suspended and that Russia will continue to supply those countries with natural gas according to the prices mentioned in the contracts.
During Putin’s speech, the April price of natural gas on the Dutch benchmark Title Transfer Facility (TTF) rose to 118.75 euros per MWh.EFE