Gazprom has sent a letter to European customers saying they can continue to pay for Russian gas without violating sanctions imposed on Russia after the invasion of Ukraine, Bloomberg reports. He cites a document from the Kremlin outlining a measure that is supposed to rule out the possibility of a “third party” participating in settlements, the stifling Russian Central Bank, for example.
After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Western countries imposed numerous sanctions on the Russian financial sector. In response, Vladimir Putin issued a decree requiring “enemy” countries to pay for Russian gas in rubles.
The system was supposed to be such that Western customers open two accounts in non-sanctioned Gazprombank: one in dollars or euros and the other in rubles. After paying the first amount, the amount will be converted into rubles and transferred to the second account, through which you can pay for the delivery of raw materials. However, the companies expressed concern about using the Russian Central Bank, which was subject to restrictions, in the deal.
Two countries completely refused to comply with Russian requirements: Poland and Bulgaria. So Gazprom cut off their gas supplies.
Since many European countries depend on gas supplies from Russia, The European Commission has issued directivesHow to ensure that transactions do not violate penalties. For many, this is just complicated.
In a letter to Bloomberg, Gazprom wrote to its Western clients that A new document released by the Kremlin on May 4 “clarifies the procedure” for gas payments in rubles. Accordingly, foreign currency received by foreign customers must be converted into rubles through accounts in the Russian National Settlement Center.
According to Gazprom, the document guarantees transparency of cash flows from foreign buyers and Any “third party” is excluded from participating in billing. In theory, Bloomberg says, this excludes participation in the transactions of the Russian Central Bank.
Gazprom did not respond to questions from Bloomberg. The European Union has not yet commented on this issue.
The export of energy resources, such as gas and oil, is a very important part of the Russian economy. Although it has not yet been restricted (with the exception of coal), other sanctions have severely affected the sector. According to the Russian Ministry of Finance, revenue from the sale of oil and gas in April was less than expected by more than 133 billion rubles.
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