Alexey Gromov, Principal Director on Energy Studies of the Institute for Energy and Finance, commented to Business FM on the possible reasons for Gazprombank's refusal to accept ruble payments for gas from Germany.
Gazprombank did not accept payments in rubles for gas from Germany and Austria. The money was sent to a ruble account by Gazprom Marketing & Trading, as requested by Russia, Bloomberg reports, citing sources familiar with the situation. This is one of the assets of the former German subsidiary of Gazprom, the gas storage operator Gazprom Germania. In early April, the German Ministry of Economy transferred Gazprom Germania to government control in order to ensure the country's energy security.
Alexey Gromov believes that the parties will agree:
“This issue should be resolved at the level of negotiations between the parties so that we receive payment for Russian gas not only in rubles, as we demand from our European partners, but also that these payments are to be from German consumers, and not ones, which Germany carries out at the expense of Russian assets. I assess the probability that they will not reach an agreement at the moment as low, this story looks ugly, because when Russian gas is paid for with Russian money, even from the funds of a company that today is essentially under external control, or, one might say, conditionally nationalized by the German authorities, this looks very strange in the context of normal trade relations between Russia and Germany. I hope that such incidents in the relationship between the two countries will not happen again.”
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