For several weeks, Russia has been asking countries and companies that want to buy Russian gas to open an account with Gazprombank. This allows them to pay for gas in rubles. This requirement applies to what Russia calls “unfriendly countries”. This includes all countries of the European Union.
Exchange rate fraud
According to analysts, Russia wants to control transactions in this way. In addition, there are concerns that Russia may cheat its exchange rates. Putin also hopes to boost the value of the ruble, which has suffered greatly from global sanctions imposed since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The complication is that European sanctions prevent it from doing business with many Russian companies, including Gazprombank. A few weeks ago, Energy Minister Rob Getten announced that Dutch companies are prohibited from paying in rubles.
Dutch energy company Eneco announced tonight that deliveries to the Netherlands are not in immediate danger, because a contract valid until 2030 has been signed.
Poland and Bulgaria are closed
The Polish state oil and gas company PGNiG was the first to notify Gazprom. PGNiG says that with this action Gazprom is violating the agreements contained in the contract.
Tonight, Bulgaria also reported, through the state gas company Bulgargaz, that Russia had brought the same action against that country.
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