Macron delivers decision on ruble gas payments to Putin – media
The West will not agree to Russia’s request to pay for gas in rubles, French President Emmanuel Macron told his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, according to Reuters.
Macron told Putin it was impossible for Western clients to pay for gas in Russian currency, the news agency reported on Tuesday, citing an Elysee official.
“France is against paying in rubles,” the official said, as quoted by the media.
In its own readout of the call between the two leaders, the Kremlin confirmed that Moscow’s proposal on ruble payments had been discussed, but it did not provide details on the positions of both sides.
Putin previously ordered Russia’s central bank and energy giant Gazprom to prepare proposals to have gas payments from “unfriendly” countries made in rubles. The plan was rejected by the EU and G7 earlier on Tuesday.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday that Russia would not supply natural gas to the European market for free, as euros and dollars would not be accepted from March 31.
Russia’s list of “unfriendly states,” which initially included just two countries – the US and the Czech Republic – was significantly expanded in March in the wake of the unprecedented economic sanctions imposed on Moscow by the West. Now it includes all EU members, Ukraine, the UK, Canada, Japan, and others – nations which have condemned Russia’s offensive in Ukraine.
All of these countries are now subject to various retaliation measures, restrictions, and specific requirements from Russia. Another retaliatory initiative saw the Finance Ministry requesting that Russian companies that want to work with firms from countries on the list receive government permission first.
On Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced that citizens of “unfriendly states” would soon be hit by visa sanctions restricting entry to the country.