The spokesperson for the Kremlin warned that Russia, which has been subjected to western sanctions, will not deliver gas to Europe unless purchases are made using Russia’s currency, the ruble.
“Clearly we are not going to supply gas for free,” said the spokesperson for the Russian President, Dmitri Peskov, during a press release this Monday. “This much can be said with absolute certainty.”
According to the Russian spokesperson, Russia cannot “be a charity” while it is facing multiple sanctions imposed by western countries due to its military operations in Ukraine, which began on February 24. This course of action would neither be “possible or convenient” for Moscow, Peskov added.
Similarly, Peskov noted that all of the ways through which payment for Russian gas can be issued in rubles “are being elaborated,” and that the precise starting date for this payment format will be determined shortly.
The Asian market can absorb Russian gas
Regarding the losses that Moscow will suffer due to these sanctions, Peskov expressed confidence that “there is a market in southeast Asia, in the east … Of course, the drop in oil sales [on Europe’s behalf] will be compensated for by purchases from the east.”
This past Wednesday, the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, announced that his country would reject the payment for Russian gas with foreign currency, including the dollar and the euro, and that they will only accept payment in rubles from “unfriendly” countries, specifically from the EU, the US, and the UK.
After Putin’s statements the prices of gas in Europe rose 30%, faced with a possible intensification of the energy crisis that is already gripping the region.
It is expected that on March 31, Russia’s state-run gas company Gazprom—which continues to supply Europe without changes for now—the Central Bank, and the Russian government will inform Putin on the exact measures to be implemented in order to process these payments in rubles.
Featured image: Gazprom plant in Russia. Photo: Reuters.
Translation: Orinoco Tribune