The Kremlin said on Wednesday that Russia would not immediately require its natural gas buyers to pay in rubles after Moscow said it would now only accept payments in its national currency.
“Payments and deliveries are a time-consuming process,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said last week that Moscow would now only accept rubles as payment for natural gas deliveries to “hostile” countries, including the European Union.
On Thursday, the Russian government, its central bank and energy giant Gazprom are expected to present Putin with a system that will allow payment for gas to be made in roubles.
“It’s not as if … what will be delivered tomorrow has to be paid for in the evening,” Peskov said.
Asked about the possibility of shifting payments for other Russian exports to roubles, Peskov said it was “an idea that definitely needs to be explored.”
“This is an area where our government is also working,” Peskov added.
Western countries have imposed crippling sanctions on Moscow since it moved troops to Ukraine, with the United States banning the import of Russian oil and gas, among other measures.
However, the European Union – which received around 40% of its gas supplies from Russia in 2021 – has retained supplies from Moscow.