Russian president Vladimir Putin said «unfriendly» countries would have to pay for Russian gas in rubles, implying those that have taken part in the unprecedented sanctions regime against Russia.
He has ordered the Russian government, its central bank and Gazprom to make the switch by March 31.
The G7 considers this demand unacceptable, German economy minister Robert Habeck said.
Habeck, whose country holds the G7 presidency, pointed out:
- All G7 [energy] ministers agreed that this is a unilateral and clear breach of the existing agreements
- Payments in rubles is not acceptable and ... we call on the companies concerned not to comply with Putin's demand
Habeck said the demand indicated that Putin had «his back against the wall.»
Asked if Russia would cut off gas supply if it did not receive rubles, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov responded saying «no payment, no gas.»
- We definitely do not intend to engage in charity and supply gas to Western Europe for free