Gazprom’s Implementing Roubles-for-Gas Scheme, Kremlin Says

Photo credit: TASS

Asked about the European Commission’s guidance on Russia’s plan, the Kremlin said on Tuesday without providing further clarification that Gazprom was in the process of implementing the presidential decree on enforcing gas supplies’ payments in roubles.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov pointed out during his daily conference call with reporters that it’s Gazprom that will publish information on the results of the talks since all the contacts with buyers of gas have been made via the company.

Gazprom, however, declined to comment on the latest developments though a source familiar with the talks said that the work continues even though there’s no clarity on how the scheme would be implemented.

The countries that Russian President Vladimir Putin terms “unfriendly” have been mandated to implement the roubles-for-gas scheme under which they need to open accounts at Gazprombank and make euros or dollars’ payments that would be converted into roubles.

The rouble payment scheme was initially rejected by most European buyers of Russian gas but after Moscow’s warning that Europe risks its gas supplies being cut unless it paid in roubles, several gas buyers agreed to Moscow’s demands.

The payments for deliveries that took place after the decree took effect were expected in May, but the European Commission stressed that in order to avoid breaching sanctions, European companies must fulfill extra requirements, such as a statement that once they have deposited non-Russian currencies, they consider their contractual obligations to be complete.

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