German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Thursday he had told Russian President Vladimir Putin that his country has checked its contracts with Russia for gas deliveries and will keep paying for them in euros and sometimes dollars.
This comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin said he had signed a decree saying foreign buyers must pay in roubles for Russian gas from April 1.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire rejected demands by Russia that European countries pay for its gas in roubles as an unacceptable breach of contracts, adding in German “a contract is a contract.”
Meanwhile, Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi also said that Putin told him that current gas contracts remained in force and that European firms will continue to pay in euros and dollars, rather than in roubles.
Russia supplies about a third of Europe’s gas, so energy is the most powerful lever at Putin’s disposal as he tries to hit back against sweeping Western sanctions over his invasion of Ukraine.
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