Minister of Ecology and Energy Kostas Skrekas convened an extraordinary meeting of the anti-crisis grouptoday, Wednesday, because tomorrow, March 31, expires Russian ultimatum for payment of supply contracts gas in rubles.
The purpose of the meeting is to assess alternative scenarios for the adequacy of the country’s gas supply in the event of a shutdown of gas from Russia.
The meeting was attended by ΡΑΕ President Athanasios Dagoumas, President of Crisis Management Group and RAE Second Vice President Dimitris Furlaris, ΔΕΣΦΑ CEO, Maria Rita Galli, ΔΕΠΑ CEO Costas Xifara, CEO ΔΕΗGeorgios Stasis, Deputy General Director of ΔΕΗ, Ioannis Kopanakis and management representatives ΑΔΜΗΕ.
Putin: non-friendly countries will pay for gas in rubles.
On March 23, Vladimir Putin instructed to convert payments for gas supplies to European countries into rubles. According to the ego, this will strengthen the national currency, and promises costs to counterparties: they will have to convert euros and dollars at an unfavorable rate in order to pay off.
In the list instructionswhich the head of the Russian Federation gave following the results of a meeting with members of the Cabinet, the report is scheduled for March 31, 2022.
Order to change the currency of payment for gas supplies in unfriendly countries Putin gave March 23, stating that unfriendly states “actually drew a line under the reliability of their currencies, crossed out the credibility of them.” He stressed that Russia will continue to supply gas in accordance with the contracts in the previously approved volumes, and the changes will only affect the payment currency, which will be changed to Russian rubles.
Germany and other G7 countries do not agree pay for Russian gas in rubles, declared Vice Chancellor, German Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection Robert Habeck. European politicians refer to the terms of already concluded contracts, and Russia – to the unreliability of settlements in dollars and euros.
European buyers of Russian gas are in most cases private companies. The gas market in Europe is liberalized, a significant part of the trade on it takes place through the stock exchange. Therefore, the statements of European politicians have so far only the nature of recommendations, the final decisions will be made by the heads of these companies following the results of negotiations with Gazprom.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen named terms of payment for natural gas from the Russian Federation in rubles “unacceptable” for countries EU. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic notedthat they will be “simply unbearable” for many small European countries that do not have their own energy resources and are completely dependent on supplies.
Against this backdrop, the United States and the EU concluded an agreement to increase the supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the EU countries to at least 15 billion cubic meters by the end of 2022. In total, Europe consumes about 500 billion m3 of gas per year, Russia pumps about 200 billion m3 of gas to the EU, providing more than 40% of foreign gas supplies.
Alert in Germany
Against the background of the conflict with Russia on payment gas supplies to Europe, German Economics Minister Robert Habeck activated emergency early warning mode in the event of a cessation of gas supplies from the Russian Federation. “At present, there are no interruptions in supplies, but we, nevertheless, should strengthen the precautionary measures in order to be ready in the event of an escalation from Russia,” Habek said on Wednesday, March 30, in Berlin.
IN Germany a crisis group will meet to assess and analyze the situation with gas supply. This will allow, if necessary, to take further measures to ensure energy security, the German Ministry of Energy explained.
Habeck urged businesses and private consumers in Germany to save energy. “Each saved kilowatt-hour matters,” he said.