After Putin’s decree, France, Germany and Britain refuse to pay for Russian gas in rubles


Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) – The German and French Economy Ministers said Thursday that they are bound by existing agreements with Russia on making payments for Russian gas supplies in euros only.

“Contracts are in euros and they must be paid in euros,” French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said during a joint press conference with his German counterpart Robert Habeck.

“We will not accept a method of payment for (Russian) gas in any currency other than what is stipulated in the contract,” Le Maire added.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that according to the newly signed decree on natural gas trade with “unfriendly countries”, companies will need to have accounts in Russian banks and pay contracts in rubles.

At a separate news conference Thursday, Habeck said Germany was “prepared” for all scenarios, including stopping the flow of Russian gas to Europe, while Le Maire said France was “preparing” in the event Russia halted gas shipments.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz insisted on Thursday that Berlin would pay for Russian gas only in euros.

“We have looked at contracts for gas and other deliveries,” Schulz said in Berlin during a joint press conference with his Austrian counterpart Karl Nahammer. (The contracts stipulate that payments will be made in euros, sometimes in US dollars, but mostly in euros. I made it clear in my conversation with the president The Russians say this will remain the same.”

“It is a terrible feeling to be dependent on Russian energy at the moment,” the Austrian chancellor said.

“We must secure the energy supply to make sure the economy is working, because the gas from Russia is not only used for private homes but also in industries that are related to jobs, and prosperity must be maintained,” Nahamer said.

In a related context, a spokesman for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Thursday that Britain will not accept the Russian president’s request to pay for Russian gas in rubles.

The spokesman said British Energy Secretary Kwasi Quarting had made it clear that “this is not something the UK will consider”.

The spokesman added that the UK would study the impact of this measure on the European market.

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