Putin blinks first and backs down over roubles for gas demand

Vladimir Putin has now retracted his demand that gas payments be made in roubles and told Germany that European buyers could continue to pay in euros.

On Wednesday, the Russian president spoke by telephone to Olaf Scholz, German Chancellor, and stated that there would be no change in European partners. Payments would continue to be made in euros and transferred into Gazprom bank.

Berlin claimed that Putin told Chancellor Olaf Scholz that customers could continue to make payments in euros to Gazprombank. These payments would then be converted into local currency.

This will reduce fears that Moscow might cut off gas supplies from Europe as a result of a standoff over payments.

Putin stated that “unfriendly” countries would have to pay for gas imports with roubles. He also set a deadline for Gazprom and Russia’s central bank to implement this.

The G7 rejected the demands, and Russia’s rhetoric has softened since then with the Kremlin stating that the currency transition would take some time.


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