OMV talks with Gazprom about rouble demand. Austria says it will pay in euro

OMV, the Austrian energy company OMV and Gazprom, Russia’s Gazprom had their initial contact regarding paying for natural gas in rubles.

An OMV spokesperson stated that OMV spokesmen on Friday. Austria stressed that there is no basis for payment in other currencies than dollars or euros.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has demanded that foreign buyers pay in roubles for gas starting Friday. Otherwise, they could lose their supply. Europe’s governments, which rely on Russia for more than a third of their gas needs, have just weeks before the bills are due. They are now talking to energy companies about this demand.

On Friday morning, the spokesperson stated that OMV was still waiting for written information from Gazprom. Leonore Gewessler, Austria’s Energy Minister, informed ORF that the information was received by Friday night.

“Documents were handed over. OMV is currently reviewing them in detail. However, we do know that payments can still be made in euros. Gewessler informed ORF.

Moscow ruled that foreign buyers of Russian gas must open rouble accounts at the Gazprombank by Thursday or face being cut off.

Gazprombank was spared harsh sanctions by other Russian banks. European gas buyers were able to open accounts with Gazprombank and allow it to buy roubles for them.

Gewessler stated that this arrangement was the reason why payments in euros could continue, although she didn’t mention Gazprombank. OMV is 31.5% owned by the Austrian government.

Friday’s European Commission statement stated that those who have contracts that require payment in dollars or euros should follow the European Commission’s lead. Karl Nehammer, the Austrian Chancellor, stated that Russia supplies 80% of its gas.

ORF was informed by him that the contracts were long-term and would run until 2040. They are in dollars or euros, and he said that he will keep them.

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