Europe’s two leading energy companies have confirmed that they are in talks with Gazprom on how to pay for Russian gas, while paying for all gas in rubles, in compliance with EU sanctions and Russia’s new rules. Go
German firm Uniper said: “We consider it possible to change the payment in accordance with the sanctions law and the Russian decree. Uniper will continue to pay in euros. Uniper is in talks with its contract partner about concrete payment methods. And in close coordination with the German government.
And the Austrian firm OMV said: “We have analyzed Gazprom’s request for payment methods in light of EU sanctions and are now working on a solution in accordance with the sanctions.”
This comes after Russia said it had cut off natural gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria, dramatically increasing the response to Western sanctions on Moscow over the Ukraine war.
Russia’s state-owned energy agency Gazprom said in a statement on Wednesday that it had completely cut off supplies to Polish gas company PGNiG and Bulgaria’s Bulgargaz because they were paying Moscow in rubles instead of euros or dollars. The demand was refused.
Uniper, one of Europe’s leading gas companies, added: “For our company and for Germany as a whole, it is impossible to do without Russian gas in the short term. This will have dramatic consequences for our economy. ۔
Under the new Russian payment scheme, energy importers will have to open two bank accounts with Gazprombank – a foreign currency account and a ruble account. Buyers are required to deposit foreign currency (dollars or euros) in Russia’s Gazprombank, which converts it to rubles in Moscow for further payments.
A European Commission document released last week suggested that it was “possible” to comply with the new Russian rules without violating EU law.
On Wednesday, Hungary’s foreign minister confirmed to CNN that his country would use a payment scheme set up by Moscow to pay for oil and gas.