German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has refused to switch to the ruble in payment for Russian natural gas, as announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Scholz made the announcement in a press release after attending a meeting with the heads of state and government of the seven leading industrialized countries (G7) in Brussels, Belgium.
Scholz said that the currency in which the gas is paid for is part of the respective contract. He made his comments after President Putin announced that Russia will only accept the ruble as payment for natural gas deliveries to countries that are “unfriendly” to Russia.
Mr. Scholz explained that gas payments are usually made in euros or dollars, adding that “most agreements and contracts clearly specify the currency of payment.”
After the U.S., U.K. and EU imposed several sanctions on Russia, Russia published a list of countries that are “unfriendly” to Russia. Then, in the middle of this week, Putin instructed Russia’s Central Bank to find a way to have gas payments settled in rubles by “unfriendly countries,” and gas giant Gazprom to revise contracts.