Rome – gasto pay with rubles – instead of euro or dollar – The Russia take time. Having threatened to turn off the taps to “unfriendly” countries by the end of April, Moscow is now declaring that there is still a month left. The confirmation came from a Kremlin spokesman Dmitriy Peskov. Brief message, it is understood that the giant Gazprom, which guarantees more than 40% of all gas supplies within the European Union, expects to be paid in local currency by May.
The contacts from the Kremlin come at the right time: next Wednesday The first deadlines for gas received in March had begun according to the new methods. practically, Gazprom He noted that payments received in euros or dollars will be converted into rubles and from there transferred to a new account. A move that can change in substance little, but this puts more political pressure on Brussels: it is not surprising that the Hungarian government, which has been reaffirmed Victor Urban – The most pro-Putin European leader – has already announced that he will agree to pay directly in rubles, opening the first crack in the union.
The largest European companies that import gas, starting with the Italian group where are you – They have already announced that they will continue to pay in euros (almost all) or dollars, so as not to violate the contracts. However, the political question remains open: is the fact that Gazprom converted the figure into rubles a way to circumvent sanctions? It is clear that a positive answer may lead to a disruption of supplies from the Russian side.
But is this what the Kremlin wants? Will Europe go that far? According to most observers, neither side, for the time being, wants to get to that point. L ‘Europe It still needs Russian gas, at least until it finds a way to replace the 155 billion cubic meters Gazprom secured last year. but also a system Russian President Vladimir Putin It needs the West’s hard currency, not only to finance the aggression against Ukraine but also to cover the state budget. Moscow, in turn, is looking for alternative customers for Europe (Chinaabove all, and India) but it needs time to equip itself with the necessary pipelines, not being able to send all the gas by ship.
This is why this first month’s postponement was somewhat predictable. Although the European Chancellery is looking for a solution to replace a large part of the Russian supplies already during the winter, taking advantage of the warm season. As the Italian government’s recent agreements with Algeria, Egypt, Azerbaijan The next expected with Congo, Angola and Mozambique To increase supplies, by pipelines and ships.
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