Paying for Russian gas in rubles violates European sanctions, von der Leyen warns

The President of the European Commission on Wednesday warned companies against the temptation to follow the Kremlin’s demands.

The European Union intends to respond to Russia. At a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, the head of the EU Commission reacted to Gazprom’s decision to stop its gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria. denouncing a “Kremlin provocation“Ursula von der Leyen promised an answer”immediate, united and coordinated“.

In particular, the Commission responded to media reports that energy companies were preparing to accept the Kremlin’s demand for payment in rubles. “Payments in rubles, unless provided for in the contract, are in fact violations of sanctionsEuropeans, she warned. The decision announced by Vladimir Putin is not “not in accordance with the contract“, and companies must not follow this commandment, otherwise “it would pose a high risk for companies“Warned the representative of the European executive.

The twenty-seven will see to it that “Gazprom’s decision will have the least possible impact on European consumers“, specified the President of the Commission. Poland and Bulgariaare already buying gas from their neighbors in the European Union‘ she added, while these two countries are more than 50% dependent on Russia for their natural gas. “Russia robs itself of significant revenue” while touching on gas exports to these partners, the representative noted.

The EU wants it tooensure sufficient gas supply and storage in the medium term» and wants to reduce its dependence on Russia, turning in particular to the supply of LNG and the United States. “We must work with reliable partners and strengthen our energy independence‘ Ursula von der Leyen hammered out. “The era of Russian fossil fuels in Europe will soon be over‘ she concluded.

So far, Brussels has not officially accepted the possibility of an embargo on Russian gas. But Bulgaria has warned that the “blackmailfrom the Kremlin. For its part, Poland warned that its country would not “No more need for Russian gas from autumn“. The Baltic countries have also decided to cut themselves off from Russian supplies, and other nations like France and Germany are preparing to do so.”There may be a situation where tomorrow (…) there will be no more Russian gas“, and “it is up to us to prepare these scenarios and we are preparing them‘ said Bercy boss Bruno Le Maire at the end of March.

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