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Russia Says it Won’t Immediately Implement Demand for Gas Payments in Rubles


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By Geoffrey Smith — Russia won’t immediately enforce its demand that it be paid in rubles for its natural gas shipments, the Kremlin said on Wednesday.

“Payments and supplies – it’s a process that stretches over time,” the news agency Interfax quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying. “It’s not as if what is delivered tomorrow has to be paid for tomorrow.” 

Peskov declined to give details of when exactly Russia would publish and enforce its new proposals, saying only that “the president has instructed it, and it will be implemented.”

President Vladimir Putin has ordered Gazprom (MCX:GAZP) and the Russian central bank to have the necessary arrangements in place to receive payment in rubles from the start of April, while separate comments from other Russian politicians – including Peskov – were taken to indicate that supplies may be curtailed immediately after that date.

Peskov’s comments come only hours after Germany announced the first steps toward rationing gas supplies, having earlier this week rejected the demand to pay in rubles as a “clear breach of contract.”  

Benchmark European natural gas futures pared their gains after the remark, but were still up sharply on the day as market participants braced for a sharp reduction in gas flows from the continent’s biggest energy supplier. By 7:20 AM ET (1120 GMT), Dutch TTF Futures for April were up 10.7% at 120.74 euros a megawatt-hour, slightly below their intraday high of 124.78 euros/MWh.

Russia Says it Won’t Immediately Implement Demand for Gas Payments in Rubles

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