Europe faces a choice: support the ruble or be left without gas

Against the backdrop of European sanctions, Putin demanded that “unfriendly” countries switch to paying for gas supplies in the Russian currency – rubles. Prices in Britain skyrocketed.

As writes Daily Express (Great Britain), after the statement of the Russian president, wholesale gas prices rose by 18% and amounted to 259.50 pence (32,759.32 rubles) per 100,000 British thermal units. The ruble also briefly strengthened, rising to 95 per dollar, but then again stabilized at about 100 rubles per dollar.

Putin has given Europe a hard choice: either she will be forced to support the ruble, or she will lose gas supplies, and at the very peak of the energy crisis, Express writes. Readers of the publication are preparing for a cold winter, stating that this measure is much more powerful than any of the sanctions against Russia.

As international sanctions against the Russian economy began to take effect, Putin used the new tool as leverage. Intensifying the crisis in Europe, Putin said the measure only applies to “unfriendly” countries:

“Russia will continue, of course, to supply natural gas in accordance with the volumes and prices, according to the pricing principles fixed in the contracts concluded earlier. The changes will affect only the currency of payment, which will be changed to Russian rubles.”

As if EU did not want and did not strive, but dependence on Russian gas is not decreasing, despite the conflict in Ukraine. In the first half of this month, Gazprom exported an average of 500 million cubic meters per day to the EU countries, China and Turkey – Europe accounted for 384 million cubic meters (per day) of this volume.

Germany will be able to abandon Russian oil and coal at the end of this year, with gas it is more difficult – the refusal will occur only in the middle of 2024. Russian authorities, writes European truth, referring to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, are showing signs of panic due to the fact that EU countries are quickly refusing to supply Russian oil, gas and coal. The sale of energy carriers is very important for the Kremlin.

Russia’s demand that countries it considers unfriendly pay for Russian natural gas and oil in rubles is a unilateral decision and a clear violation of the treaty, EC President Ursula von der Leyen said at a summit in Brussels on Thursday:

“We will not allow our sanctions to be circumvented (..), the time when energy resources could be used to blackmail us is over.”

And the Prime Minister of Slovenia, Janez Jansa, writes European Truth, said:

“I don’t think anyone in Europe really knows what the ruble looks like. No one will pay in rubles. The EU must reduce its dependence on Russian energy as soon as possible. This will not happen overnight, my country is also partially dependent, but we support it. As soon as possible means within the next month, otherwise we give money to the Russian war machine.”

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that the agreement on the supply of energy from the Russian Federation dealt with the settlement in European and American currencies:

“The treaties are talking about euros and dollars … These are the starting points from which we must build.”

Head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmitry Kuleba urged European countries not to pay for the purchase of Russian oil and gas in rubles. Those who will go to fulfill Russia’s requirements to pay for energy in rubles will “help the Russians kill Ukrainians,” he quotes

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