Russia announced, on Monday, that it will not supply gas to Europe for free if the latter refuses to pay the value of gas supplies to it in rubles.
In response to a question at a daily press conference in Moscow about what Russia will do if Europe refuses to pay for gas shipments in rubles, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov urged (the Kremlin) to “solve problems as they arise”, pointing out that his country will not provide Europe with gas for free.
“The supply process is very, very complex, it’s not just a process of buying a product in a store, you buy and pay at the checkout. There are shipments, payments and balance sheets, there are processes that take their time. Now all the interdepartmental work is going on with Gazprom,” he said.
“But the fact that we will not supply gas for free is absolute. This can be said with absolute certainty. In our situation now, it is difficult and undesirable to engage in charitable work for Europe.”
On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed the government, the central bank and Gazprom to convert into rubles payments for gas shipments to “unfriendly countries” by March 31.
On March 7, the Russian government approved the list of “unfriendly” countries, which includes countries such as the United States, European Union countries, Britain, South Korea, Japan, Ukraine, Switzerland and Singapore, in addition to 15 other countries that impose sanctions on Russia.
On February 24, Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine, which was followed by angry international reactions and the imposition of “tough” economic and financial sanctions on Moscow.
Russia requires Ukraine to abandon any plans to join military entities, including NATO, and to maintain complete neutrality, which Kyiv considers an “interference in its sovereignty.