Russia Sets Midnight Deadline Over Gas Contracts – St. Lucia Times News

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Separately, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said German companies would continue to pay for Russian gas using euros as stipulated in contracts.

The order signed by Mr Putin means foreign buyers of Russian gas will have to open an account at Gazprombank and transfer euros or US dollars into it.

Gazprombank will then convert this into roubles which will then be used to make the payment for gas.

France’s economy minister Bruno Le Maire declined to comment on technical details linked to the latest Russian demands for rouble payment.

Analysts say making nations pay in roubles for gas will support the country’s currency, which fell sharply after the invasion but has begun to recover.

Nathan Piper, head of oil and gas research at Investec, said Mr Putin was attempting to put economic pressure “back on Europe” and that more foreign exchange demand for roubles would likely push up the value of the currency.

“However, long term Russia needs to remain a reliable supplier of gas so it is unclear if they would actually restrict gas supply,” he added.

“That said, even the risk of it is keeping UK/European gas prices at near record highs and six times the 10-year average. This is translating to steep rises in consumers’ energy bills.”