If Europe does not pay Russia in roubles for gas supplies, President Vladimir Putin could potentially turn off energy supplies to Europe on Friday, leaving the continent in difficulties to find out another energy source as early as possible.
European governments have rejected Putin's demand to pay Moscow in rouble. The Russian President signed a decree on Thursday, mandating that foreign governments will be bound to pay Russia in rouble for the energy supplies.
Putin's Deadline Ends
Putin, in a televised address, had revealed that the contracts shall be paused if Russia does not receive payments in rouble. The move was seen as a fierce response from Russia as it is facing a number of western sanctions s that had plunged the rouble.
European governments had been given the ultimatum till Friday but they have rejected the demand. Germany has called the demand a blackmailing effort amid the Ukraine war, reported The Mirror.
Moscow Offered a Mechanism
Due to the government's move, Russia could actually halt gas supplies as the country is reeling due to sanctions and it is the only possible way for Russia to recover. However, with such demand, Moscow has put its significant revenue source at stake.
Putin in his televised address had demanded that the European governments should open rouble accounts in Russian banks and make payments for gas and oils from that source.
"They must open rouble accounts in Russian banks. It is from these accounts that payments will be made for gas delivered starting from tomorrow. If such payments are not made (in rouble), we will consider this a default on the part of buyers, with all the ensuing consequences ... existing contracts will be stopped," said Putin.
If European Union does not follow the demands of Russia for rouble payments, they will face heavy sanctions, warned a top Russian official.
Nikolai Kobrinets said that the actions of the EU will not remain unanswered, stressing that the irresponsible sanctions by Brussels are already negatively affecting the daily lives of ordinary Europeans.