Germany refuses to pay for Russian gas in rubles: Finance Minister
German Finance Minister says Berlin is doing everything to become independent from Russia as soon as possible.
Germany does not plan to pay for Russian gas in rubles and is currently doing everything to end its dependency on Russian energy, German Finance Minister Christian Lindner said on Saturday.
On Wednesday, Russian energy giant Gazprom decided to suspend gas supplies to Bulgarian company Bulgargaz and Poland's PGNiG from April 27 after the two companies refused to pay for Russian gas in rubles.
Russia announced it would suspend gas imports to Poland and Bulgaria on Wednesday, following blasts in a breakaway region of neighboring Moldova that prompted Kiev to accuse Moscow of attempting to extend the Ukraine war into Europe.
On Twitter, Lindner underlined that "we will not let [Russia] to blackmail us! And we will not pay for Russian gas in rubles in the future either. It is clear that we are doing everything to become independent from Russia as soon as possible."
An #Putin gerichtet, sage ich ganz deutlich: Wir lassen uns nicht erpressen! Auch künftig werden wir russisches Gas nicht in #Rubel bezahlen. Klar ist: Wir unternehmen alles, um schnellstmöglich unabhängig von Russland zu werden. Mehr dazu in meinem Interview mit @FunkeBerlin. CL https://t.co/7jo5RQgoIo— Christian Lindner (@c_lindner) April 30, 2022
In late March, Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed the government and Gazprom to switch gas payments by countries that have imposed sanctions on Russia to rubles. This came after several countries imposed sanctions on Russia in response to its military operation in Ukraine.
Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov had said his country would not deliver gas to Europe for free, in a reiteration of Putin's statements that Russia would not accept anything but rubles for gas deliveries to "unfriendly countries".
See this: Who is with or against sanctions on Russia?
According to the new scheme, Gazprombank will open special foreign currency and ruble accounts for foreign customers. Buyers will be able to transfer funds in the currencies specified in gas supply contracts.
The bank will sell it on the Moscow Exchange and then transfer rubles to the gas buyers' ruble accounts. Buyers will then use these funds to pay Gazprom.