Hungarian Prime Minister's Office: Nine more countries have opened accounts in Russia to pay for gas in rubles. Nine other countries are doing the same
Nine more countries, in addition to Hungary, have opened accounts in Russia to pay for gas in rubles, said the head of the office of the Prime Minister of the country, Gergely Guiyash, on the radio Kossuth, his the words are quoted by the Index portal.
According to him, Budapest expects that the European Union will not adopt sanctions that will make it impossible to import Russian oil and gas.
“We should not impose sanctions that primarily punish ourselves, and not those whom we want to punish,” — he thinks. So far, Brussels has not introduced any measures restricting the supply of Russian energy resources, Guillas pointed out.
He also explained that Hungary does not pay for gas in rubles: it opened an account in euros, to which the fee is transferred in the same currency, and then the bank converts it into rubles. Nine other countries are also doing so, the head of the office added.
At the end of April, Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó told CNN that Hungary had agreed to Russia's proposed gas payment scheme because it had no alternative to Russian supplies. Thanks to long-term contracts, the country receives Russian gas several times cheaper than the market price, Russian President Vladimir Putin said earlier.
Early last month, Hungary and the EU argued whether paying for Russian gas in rubles was a violation of Western sanctions. Budapest insisted that it intended to adhere to the contracts concluded with Russia, and called the question of what currency to pay in technical.
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Earlier, Bloomberg reported that ten European countries have already opened accounts with Gazprombank to pay for Russian fuel supplies, and four of them have already made payments. The agency later learned that ten countries— Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Hungary, Greece, Denmark, Latvia, Poland, Slovakia and Finland— insist on blocking the roundabout ways of paying for Russian gas.
In late March, Putin signed a decree on payments for gas with unfriendly countries in rubles. Starting April 1, companies from Western countries must open two accounts with Gazprombank: one in foreign currency and one in rubles. The payment for deliveries will first go to the currency account, after which the bank will sell the currency on the stock exchange and credit the rubles to the second account. Payment will be considered completed only from the moment the funds are credited to the ruble account.
In the Kremlin, speaking about the possible refusal of European countries to pay for gas in rubles, they said that the Russian side is counting on a sound meaning in the actions of contractors who buy gas from Russia. According to the press secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov, “it's stupid to proceed from some ephemeral political interests and step on the throat of your own economy.”
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