The Russian gas giant Gazprom announced on Monday that as of Tuesday, May 31, it will cut off gas supplies to the Dutch company GasTerra, after it refused to pay the Russian state company through Gazprombank.
“Gazprom Export informed GazTerra of the cessation of gas supplies from May 31, 2021 and until the payment is made in accordance with the mechanisms established by the decree” of Russian President Vladimir Putin, which establishes the payment in rubles, the Russian consortium reported on its Telegram account.
Gazprom recalled that the Dutch company refused to pay for gas supplies in rubles, in accordance with Putin’s decree and Russia’s proposed mechanism to counter Western sanctions over the Russian military campaign in Ukraine.
Previously, countries such as Poland, Bulgaria and Finland refused to pay for gas in rubles, after which Moscow made good on its threat and cut off supplies to these countries. According to Moscow, about half of the foreign importers of Russian gas have already opened accounts in Gazprombank to pay for the scheme proposed by the Kremlin, which provides for the conversion of foreign currency into rubles.
The Russian deputy prime minister, Alexandr Novak, defended that this measure seeks to “guarantee the entry of foreign currency, its conversion into rubles and the payment in rubles of the supplied gas.”
According to the official Russian agency TASS, more than 20 companies have already opened accounts in Gazprombank, in accordance with the Kremlin’s demands, including the Italian energy company Eni, the German Uniper consortium and the French Engie.
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