Indicator - Economy - The European Commission decides: No breach of sanctions if we refer to Gazprom

Indicator – Economy – The European Commission decides: No breach of sanctions if we refer to Gazprom

The European Commission has shared the updated guidelines with EU countries. In it, he reiterated his earlier advice that EU sanctions would not prevent companies from opening an account with a particular bank and thus paying the ruble for Russian gas. Provided that they do so in the currency specified in their current contracts.

European companies signed almost all contracts with Gazprom in euros or dollars.

Russia previously cut off gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria for refusing to comply with the ruble’s demand. Then several EU governments and major importers wanted to clarify with Brussels how they could buy gas in the future.

It has now emerged that companies need to make a clear statement that when they pay in euros or dollars, they have fulfilled their obligations under existing contracts in this way, according to Reuters. guiding rules. Accordingly, it must be understood that “such payments in a particular currency shall permanently release the economic operator from its payment obligations under those contracts. Without further action by the economic operator on payment.”

However, according to a decree of Russian President Vladimir Putin, the transaction can be considered completed only if foreign currency is converted into rubles.

“Our basic position remains the same. The payment process stipulated in the Russian decree of March 31 violates EU sanctions, but EU companies have the option of continuing to pay in euros or dollars under the agreed contracts.

Discussion closed

On this basis, EU gas buyers are free to open a special account in one euro and one ruble in the currency of the gas purchase agreement with Gazprombank, specified in the Russian presidential decree – as long as they do not violate EU sanctions. Since the last guidelines of the commission are silent on the issue of opening an account on the basis of the ruble, this can be considered as tacit approval. Moreover, as the German Economy Minister said that he would not violate EU sanctions if a Russian bank transferred funds between two private accounts, there is practically no problem behind the scenes with opening a gas-powered ruble account.

Once the transfer has been made, they must declare, on the basis of the EU recommendation, that they consider that their obligation to pay has already been fulfilled under this Act.

(Cover photo: Nikolai Duchynov/AFP)

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