The EU came up with a solution on how to import Russian gas without violating European sanctions and at the same time complying with Moscow’s requirement to pay hydrocarbons in rubles. The agency writes about this on Sunday, May 15. Bloomberg.
According to their sources, the issue was discussed at a closed meeting in Brussels on Friday. The European Commission has communicated to EU member states that the new guidance will clarify:
While companies can open an account with Gazprombank, they have to make their payments in dollars or euros and declare that they have fulfilled their obligations under the contract.
– The publication states that, subject to these conditions, the regulator will not consider the actions of companies as violations of sanctions.
However, according to Bloomberg, disagreements arose among EU members. While Germany, Hungary, France and Italy supported the proposed plan, Poland still had questions about the legal aspect of the new resolution, and its representatives suggested a meeting at EU ambassador level.
It is stated that some other countries are also unhappy, as the new guideline does not give a precise indication of whether European companies can open a ruble account with Gazprombank. The material emphasizes that the creation of a ruble account is one of the key aspects, since the creation of a ruble account was previously considered a violation of sanctions, although this was not recorded on paper.
rubles for gas
According to Bloomberg, about 20 European companies have opened accounts with Gazprombank to pay for Russian gas supplies, and 14 more have requested a list of documents required to open such accounts.
On March 31, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree establishing a new procedure for payment of Russian gas supplies by buyers from “unfriendly countries”, effective from April 1. Such states must transfer money to Gazprombank, which will receive rubles in foreign currencies. exchange and transfer to special ruble accounts of importers. At the same time, according to Moscow, Russia will continue to supply gas at the volumes and prices fixed in previous contracts.
Against this background, the EC drew attention to the fact that paying gas supplies in rubles is a violation of existing agreements, most countries officially declared that they will not pay in Russian currency.
Gazprom has suspended fuel exports to Bulgaria and Poland since April 27. At the same time, the company warned that it would reduce transit to other countries if Sofia and Warsaw start taking illegal fuel samples.
replace russian gas
The newspaper columnist also claims that European countries are facing serious difficulties in trying to replace Russian gas with sources from the United States, North Africa and the Mediterranean. New York Times Clifford Krauss.
“The climate agenda, cautious investor sentiment, political instability and regional disagreements between potential fuel suppliers complicate the EU’s rejection of blue fuel from Russia,” the publication says.
Krauss writes that Europe is 40% dependent on Russian gas. According to him, its European sites are in decline and there are clearly not enough terminals for LNG supply.
He also noted that attempts to increase US output to close the European deficit have been complicated by environmental trends and low investor interest.
“Until recently, raw material prices were not high enough to encourage the drilling of new wells. In addition, environmentalists fear a sharp increase in carbon dioxide emissions due to active mining, which forces the Biden administration to focus on its climate agenda.
Krauss added that supplies from Libya to Italy are complicated by the unstable territorial situation, and Algeria cannot increase volumes due to the deterioration of relations with Morocco, where the pipeline crosses to Spain and Portugal. Egypt, which could potentially cover some of the European deficit, preferred to conclude long-term gas contracts with China on more attractive terms.