Energy Kremlin: Russia does not supply gas to Europe for free

The Russian government intends to take action if European countries refuse to pay for natural gas in rubles.

Russian the administration says it is exploring ways to pay for its gas supplies in rubles and will take action if European Union countries do not agree to ruble payments.

According to the news agency Reuters, the president of Russia told the matter Vladimir Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov at a press conference on Monday.

“We don’t supply gas for free. It’s sure. In our situation, it is hardly possible and appropriate to engage in charity [eurooppalaisten asiakkaiden kanssa]”Peskov said.

According to Peskov, Russia’s central bank and gas giant Gazprom are due to present their proposals for ruble gas payments to Putin by Thursday.

Russia demanded last week that “hostile” countries should pay for the natural gas it supplies in rubles instead of the euro. The demand is Russia’s retaliation against plans to impose economic sanctions on Russia’s energy supplies.

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EU leaders on Friday failed to agree on how Russia’s demand should be addressed.

German Minister for Finance Christian Lindner said in a newspaper interview on Friday that it had advised the country’s energy companies not to pay for Russian gas in rubles.

A representative of the Italian government also said last week that Italy would continue to pay for Russian energy in euros.

Polish energy company Pgnig also said it simply cannot switch to ruble payments.

Pipeline operator information Russia’s gas supplies appeared to be stable on Monday on three gas pipelines from Russia to Europe.

Gazprom also announced that it will continue to supply gas to Europe through Ukraine.

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