Gazprom is considering options to halt gas supplies to Europe, Kommersant reports

Image shows Gazprom logo and natural gas pipeline
FILE PHOTO: A 3D-printed natural gas pipeline is placed in front of the Gazprom logo on display in this February 8, 2022 illustration. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

March 31, 2022

(Reuters) – Russian energy giant Gazprom is considering options to halt gas supplies to “unfriendly” countries and assess the possible consequences, Russia’s daily Kommersant reported on Thursday, citing unnamed sources.

President Vladimir Putin said Russia will soon require “unfriendly” countries to pay for fuel in rubles and warned of a possible gas supply shortage in Europe.

Putin has ordered Russia’s central bank and Gazprom to prepare the payment scheme by March 31 amid Western sanctions against Russia for its “special military operation” in Ukraine.

Countries in the European Union, where Gazprom accounts for about 40% of gas supplies, have declared their refusal to pay for Russian gas in rubles.

“Gazprom … is indeed working on an option of a complete stop of gas supplies to “unfriendly countries” and is evaluating the consequences of such measures,” the newspaper wrote.

Kommersant said Gazprom refused to discuss the issue with the newspaper. Gazprom did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The Kremlin spokesman said on Wednesday that customers will not be obliged to switch to rubles as early as Thursday as “payments and delivery are a time-consuming process”.

Germany, Russia’s largest gas customer, will continue to pay in euros or dollars, a government spokesman said on Wednesday, adding that Putin had informed the German chancellor that nothing would change for European partners despite his planned ruble payments.

(Reported by Reuters; Edited by David Clarke) Gazprom is considering options to halt gas supplies to Europe, Kommersant reports


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