Four European buyers of Russian gas have already settled in rubles. Bloomberg reported this based on an anonymous insider at state gas company Gazprom.
In addition, ten European companies are said to have opened an account with Gazprombank to pay for gas from Russia in rubles.
Russian President Vladimir Putin demands that “unfriendly countries” pay for gas from Russia in rubles. That would undermine the sanctions that, for example, the European Union has introduced against the country for the invasion of Ukraine because countries have to repurchase rubles from the Russian central bank.
Gazprom customers would have to open two accounts for gas purchases, one in rubles and one in euros, if it were up to Putin. In addition, Gazprombank is responsible for converting the currency and transferring the ruble payment.
Gazprom stopped supplying gas to Poland and Bulgaria on Wednesday because those countries refused to pay in rubles. The Bulgarian government and the European Commission have condemned this as blackmail.
Earlier, Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer contradicted news reports claiming Austria had already settled in rubles. “Austria adheres to all commonly agreed EU sanctions down to the comma,” the politician reported on Twitter. He blames the news on “Russian propaganda”.