Russia “values ​​its reputation as a reliable supplier” of gas

This was stated by the president’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov. He also noted that the scheme of payment for fuel supplies will change only de jure, but not de facto and there is still time, as payment for supplies will take place at the end of the month

Photo: DPA / TASS

On April 1, Moscow changed its gas payment system. Now from “unfriendly countries” it will go in rubles. However, there are some important nuances.

Dmitry Peskov, the president’s spokesman, told Russia 1: “We do not want to complicate the lives of our clients.” He added that Russia “values ​​its reputation as a reliable supplier” and noted that the new gas payment scheme came into force on April 1 and that the system itself is stretched in time. Settlements for April deliveries will take place at the end of the month, and maybe later. And Peskov concluded: “There is still time.” That is, it can be understood that we have given Europe a month to think, to gradually move to a new system of calculations. Although, in fact, it does not change much, which, incidentally, also stated in the Kremlin.

European buyers of Russian gas will transfer the European currency to a special account in Gazprombank. The bank will then sell the euro on the Moscow Stock Exchange. And then it will settle with the fuel seller, that is, with Gazprom, already in rubles. But for this you need to conclude additional agreements to existing contracts. Stanislav Mitrakhovich, a leading expert of the National Energy Security Foundation and the Financial University, comments.

Stanislav Mitrahovich leading expert of the National Energy Security Foundation and the University of Finance

We export about $ 10 billion a month in gas. This is generally for all deliveries. According to January data, we sold more to 7 billion cubic meters of gas to the so-called unfriendly countries, which is 21 countries in Europe, for almost 6 billion dollars.

Now that Moscow has changed its payment scheme, the natural question is whether the European Union will use the monthly lag to replenish its underground storage facilities and, accordingly, to talk to us from a different position. But gas supplies are usually made in May, when the heat is already falling and current consumption is falling. At present, according to Gazprom, European UGS is only 26% full. Spring this year turned out to be cold. And the capacity of our export pipes in a month will not be enough to thoroughly replenish storage, says independent expert Dmitry Lyutyagin.

Dmitry Lyutyagin independent expert

We could put additional volumes on Nord Stream-2, but this pipeline was never launched. And the transit of fuel through the territory of Ukraine, as stated in “Gazprom”, continues on a regular basis. Meanwhile, European buyers are retaining their previous applications for gas extraction. That is, in fact, nothing has changed, as the Kremlin also said, saying that the new de facto gas payment scheme remained the same. But de jure she changed. All buyers need to do is create a new payment order, and there doesn’t seem to be anything complicated. But a certain psychological effort must be made.

In the meantime, according to reports, a pause has been taken. Gazprom said it had notified European counterparties of the new payment scheme. In Bulgaria on Sunday, April 3, it was confirmed that the notification had been received. The Slovak government has stated that if it is necessary to pay in rubles, the country will pay in rubles. And the German Ministry of Economy said that the rejection of Russian gas is not a game, but a serious scenario that threatens to split society.

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