China to pay for Russian gas in yuan, rubles: Gazprom
Gazprom announces its intention to change its contracts to supply gas to China from euros to rubles and yuan.
Russia's energy behemoth Gazprom announced Tuesday that China will begin paying for Russian gas in rubles and yuan rather than US dollars, as Moscow seeks stronger ties with Beijing in the aftermath of Western sanctions over Ukraine.
"A transition was made to making payments for Russian gas supplies to China in the national currencies of the countries -- the ruble and yuan," Gazprom said in a statement.
The shift is part of Russia's push to lessen its reliance on the US dollar, euro, and other hard currencies in its financial system and for trade, which has escalated since it was sanctioned by the West in reaction to the Russian military operation in Ukraine.
Russia has been strengthening economic connections with China and other non-Western countries, mostly to find new markets for its essential hydrocarbon exports.
Allowing payments in Russian rubles and Chinese yuan, according to Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller, is "mutually beneficial" for both Gazprom and Beijing's state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation.
“It will simplify the calculations, become an excellent example for other companies and give an additional impetus for the development of our economies,” he said.
Gazprom did not elaborate on the proposal or indicate when payments will be converted from dollars to rubles and yuan.
Gas supplies via Nord Stream have been totally halted since August 31, and pipeline operations have been halted owing to scheduled repair work at the Portovaya compressor station, according to data from gas transportation system operators.
A leak was located at the main gas turbine at the Portovaya compressor station near St Petersburg.
On August 19, Gazprom said it would halt the flow of gas through the pipeline from August 31 until September 2 due to routine maintenance.