Russian gas: Barbara Pompili assures that European bills will be paid in euros and dollars

There is no question that the European Union will pay in rubles for contracts previously concluded in dollars or euros, as the Russian President has wanted “unfriendly” countries to do since the end of March. As European energy ministers meet in Brussels this Monday, French Ecological Transition Minister Barbara Pompili was adamant: “We cannot accept this type of maneuver that breaks existing treaties. “.

“We all agree to have treaties imposed on us that would be modified unilaterally,” declared the minister, while France holds the EU presidency in the first half of 2022, as a preamble to the round table that aims to “define our Consolidate policies to reduce our dependence on gas, on Russia, with measures already announced.” And Barbara Pompili mentioned “storage mechanisms”, “joint purchases of gas”, but also “any other measure that we could take to show solidarity in the face of our gas supply needs on European territory. “.

Barbara Pompili assured that a “new package of sanctions” against Russia is in preparation but will only come “in the coming days” while European energy ministers meet in Brussels. The 6th package of European measures prepared by the Commission chaired by Ursula von der Leyen will place sanctions on Russia’s entire oil ecosystem. In the short term, one of the measures aims to make it more expensive to transport Russian oil by tanker.

The largest Russian bank, Sberbank, which accounts for 37% of the market, must also be excluded from the Swift transaction system, several European diplomatic sources have indicated. The EU wants to cut funding for the Kremlin’s war effort. Russia exports two thirds of its oil to the EU.

And for oil?

A European diplomat also indicated that the EU Commission must put an embargo proposal on the table “with a transitional period until the end of the year”. However, the decision “is not easy to implement” due to two difficulties, said the EU official.

Two landlocked European countries, Hungary and Slovakia, depend on Russian pipelines. They have no ports and are not connected to any European pipeline. Infrastructure must be built or alternatives found. In addition, European decisions must not lead to a counterproductive global increase in oil prices.

“We have to be careful with a comprehensive European ban on oil imports,” US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned in April. A price cap advocated by the United States is a “wise measure” because it avoids speculation and oil remains profitable, but “it must apply beyond Europeans and Americans,” said the Europe manager.

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