Russia does not shut off gas tap, buyers have weeks to pay ruble | News



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Kremlin spokesman says no immediate end to deliveries; the decision on payments in Russian currency will take effect from the second half of April.

Buyers of Russian gas have weeks to pay for their supplies in rubles, the Kremlin said, adding that Moscow will not turn off taps on Friday.

President Vladimir Putin signed an order on Thursday that countries deemed hostile — those that imposed sanctions on Russia after the invasion of Ukraine — must pay for gas in rubles from April 1, or have their contracts terminated.

Western countries have said payment in rubles would violate contracts that could take months or more to renegotiate, while Germany – Europe’s largest economy and industrial powerhouse – called the Russian decree “political blackmail”.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “I have been asked a lot whether this means that if there is no confirmation in rubles, gas supply will be cut from April 1. No, it is not.”

“Payment for the actual deliveries that take place now does not have to be made today. And it should be made sometime at the end, in the second half of April or even early May,” he told reporters, according to Russia’s Interfax news agency, adding that state energy giant Gazprom would work with its customers to implement the new rules. implement.

(Al-Jazeera)

Europe relies heavily on Russia for its energy needs, with about 40 percent of its gas coming from the country. If Moscow decides to stop deliveries, it could lead to supply shortages, plant closures and crippling energy costs across the region.

Peskov said Russia could leave the ruble order at some point if circumstances change, but “in the current circumstances, rubles are the most preferred and reliable option for us”.

Asked about German media reports about the possibility of Germany nationalizing some of Gazprom’s subsidiaries, Peskov said this would be a serious violation of international law.

He said Russia witnessed “gangster actions” related to the seizure of his property.

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