NEW DELHI: Despite the European Union (EU) asking energy companies not to comply with Russia’s demand to be paid in rubles for its natural gas, four European gas buyers have reportedly paid in rubles as President Vladimir Putin demanded.
In a report published in Bloomberg, a person close to Russian gas giant Gazprom had opined that more cutoffs after the halt in the gas flow to Poland and Bulgaria Wednesday aren’t likely until the second half of May when the next payments are due.
Supplies to the two European nationals were cut off after they refused Gazprom’s proposed mechanism for ruble payments. Russia supplies gas via pipelines to 23 European countries.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, as per the report, the person also said that 10 European companies have already opened the accounts at Gazprombank needed to meet Russia’s payment demands.
After the EU imposed sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, Moscow demanded that it be paid in rubles for shipments starting April 1. But the EU told member states that the mechanism proposed by the Kremlin, which required opening euro and ruble accounts with state-controlled Gazprombank, would violate the sanctions.