Germany’s third-largest gas importer, VNG, has accepted the new Moscow ruble-based gas payment system and opened the necessary accounts with Russian bank Gazprombank to transfer payments, the company said in a statement emailed to Reuters on Monday.
“We will pay the invoice amount, which will continue to be denominated in euros, to Gazprombank accounts in accordance with the established procedure, so that timely payment to our supplier is ensured from us.“, we read in the press release.
The company added that it expects the conversion to rubles will not cause difficulties, noting that “The opening of the account went perfectly.”
Russia’s new ruble-based gas payment mechanism was introduced on March 31 as part of Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine and subsequent Western sanctions. The news intrigued Russian gas buyers, who feared they would be asked to pay for the product in rubles. However, it was later clarified that buyers will be able to pay in the currency of their choice, but must first open an account in Russia’s Gazprombank so that their payments can be converted into rubles before reaching the gas supplier. , Gazprom. The measure applies to buyers from “hostile states” that have imposed sanctions on Russia.
European gas buyers are still concerned about the new payment system, fearing it will breach sanctions, but at the same time many are not keen on cutting off Russian gas imports. Several Russian gas buyers have recently signaled that they may be able to comply with Moscow’s demands. In late April, Uniper, a major German importer of Russian gas, said it would be possible to pay for future supplies without breaching sanctions. According to a Bloomberg report, four European countries have already made gas payments to Russia using the new Moscow ruble-based mechanism, while at least 10 countries have opened ruble accounts at Gazprombank, per the through which they expect to make the payments due at the end of May. .
VNG said it is taking all necessary measures to comply with the Sanctions Act, but also to secure Germany’s gas supply.
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