Alexey Gromov commented to Gazeta.ru about a possible delay in switching to rubles when paying for Russian gas supplies to "unfriendly" countries.
It is still premature to talk about the formation of camps in the EU of supporters and opponents of the ruble payment for gas. Yes, Hungary and Slovakia admitted the possibility of changing the mechanism for purchasing Russian raw materials. However, their share in the total volume of Gazprom's deliveries to Europe is much inferior to the shares of Germany, Italy and France, Alexey Gromov stressed in a conversation with Gazeta.Ru.
In 2021, Germany set a record for the import of gas from Moscow, coming close to the level of 50 billion cubic meters, Italy during this time acquired about 20 billion cubic meters, France - 11.5 billion. It is the position of these countries that will largely determine the future of ruble payments for Russian gas to the EU, Gromov summed up.
“Austria, Hungary and Germany opposed the embargo on Russian gas. Of these countries, only Budapest allowed the possibility of paying in rubles. The Austrian and German ministries of economy said they would continue to pay for gas in euros. The deadlines for the first payments are approaching. It is quite possible that Vienna and Berlin will turn to Gazprom with a request to postpone the ruble payment until at least May," Gromov suggested.
“The mechanism proposed by Russia for switching to gas payments in rubles is not a significant violation of existing agreements. But the reason for the appeal of European counterparties to the courts may be one simple detail. Any contractual changes are decided on a bilateral basis, no one has canceled this clause. In order to avoid a wave of litigation, Moscow needs to give time to its European partners. Postponing ruble payments would be an ideal compromise for all parties,” Gromov concluded.
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