FILE PHOTO: A model of the natural gas pipeline is placed on Russian rouble banknote and a flag in this illustration taken, March 23, 2022. REUTERS/File Photo

Germany Rejects Putin Demand for Ruble Payments for Gas Exports

Companies buying Russian natural gas should not have to set up ruble accounts to pay for it, German Finance Minister Christian Lindner said, pushing back against a demand made last month by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Contracts are contracts,” Lindner said Wednesday in an interview with Bloomberg Television in Washington. “Contracts are based on dollars and euros and so private-sector companies should pay in dollars or euros.”
Putin’s demand stipulates that European gas buyers open two accounts, one in a foreign currency and one in rubles. Gazprombank would then be responsible for converting the foreign currency into rubles and transferring the money to Gazprom.
Lindner said Germany and its allies are also “standing ready for further sanctions on Russia.” He sidestepped a question on whether oil should be included, citing ongoing talks among European Union member states on a sixth package of measures.
“We strongly support all sanctions which isolate Russia politically and economically,” he said. “We have to consider which sanctions hit Putin’s war chest and which sanctions in the short term hurt us more than him,” he added. “All sanctions which now and for the foreseeable future hurt him more than us and the international community, we are in full support of.”

About Parvin Faghfouri Azar

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