Energy: the European Union refuses to pay for gas in rubles and is preparing for a break with Moscow


Moscow’s request to pay for purchases in rubles is “a unilateral and unjustified modification of the contracts and it is legitimate to reject it”, Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson said on Monday.

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It is “niet”. The European Union refuses to pay for its gas purchases from Russia in rubles and must prepare for a disruption in its supplies. This is the warning issued, Monday, May 2, by the European Commission and the French Presidency of the Council after an emergency meeting of the Ministers of Energy of the 27 in Brussels.

Moscow’s demand to pay for purchases in rubles is “a unilateral and unjustified modification of contracts and it is legitimate to reject it”said Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson. She specifies that “97% of contracts [conclus par les entreprises européennes] specify the currency for the payment and it is either Euro or US Dollar”.

Kadri Simson said he had no knowledge of opening ruble accounts. “Payments are scheduled for mid-May and the majority of companies will respect the rules of the contracts”, she assured. French Minister for Ecological Transition Barbara Pompili, chair of the meeting, confirmed the “willingness to honor contracts”.

“We must prepare for a suspension of supplies”warned the European Commissioner. “There are no immediate risks”assured the Commissioner. “But we will not be able to replace the 150 billion m3 of gas purchased from Russia by other sources. It is not tenable”she admitted. “We can manage the replacement of 2/3 of Russian gas supplies”she clarified.

Kadri Simson insisted on the need for Member States to fill their reserves and Barbara Pompili underlined the imperative of “diversify the way of producing electricity and heating”. “Europe must get rid of dependence on Russian fossil fuels”said Polish Minister Anna Moskwa. “Our reserves will be at 100% capacity for this winter”she assured. “American liquefied natural gas has started to arrive via Lithuania and we are going to supply gas from Norway via Denmark”she explained.



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