Russia to only accept rubles for gas to Europe: Putin
The Russian decision has prompted the ruble to jump in the face of the US dollar and the euro following a period of freefall.
Russia will only accept payments in rubles for gas deliveries to "unfriendly countries", President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday, in a nod to all EU members in light of the harsh round of sanctions they imposed on Moscow over its special military operation in Ukraine.
"I have decided to implement a set of measures to transfer payment for our gas supplies to unfriendly countries into Russian rubles," Putin said during a televised government meeting, and, at his discretion, the changes will be implemented within a week.
The Russian president said his country would stop taking payments in currencies that have been "compromised", though he did note that Russia would continue supplying gas in the volumes fixed in earlier contracts.
In reference to the West freezing Russia's assets abroad, Putin described the issue as "illegitimate", and he stressed that the countries who committed the act "declared a real default" on their obligation to his country.
"Now everyone in the world knows that obligations in dollars can be defaulted," Putin said.
Following Putin's announcement, Russia's ruble rose in the face of the USD and the euro, marking a major hike since the currency took a dive against the western currencies due to the sanctions imposed on the country.
The crisis in question is due to Russia launching a special military operation for several reasons, including NATO's eastward expansion. Other reasons were the Ukrainian shelling of Donbass and the killing of the people of the Donetsk People's Republic and Lugansk People's Republic, in addition to Moscow wanting to "denazify" and demilitarize Ukraine.
In response, the US and its allies have rolled out comprehensive sanctions, including restrictions on the Russian central bank, export control measures, SWIFT cutoff for select banks, and closure of airspace to all Russian flights. Many of their companies have suspended their Russian operations.