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Four gas buyers in Europe have made gas payments to Russia in rubles, as demanded by President Vladimir Putin, reported Bloomberg News, citing a person close to Russia’s energy company Gazprom PJSC.
Last month, Putin demanded its ‘unfriendly’ countries to open accounts with state-controlled Gazprombank to pay for Russian gas in rubles.
In accordance with the order, the ten undisclosed European companies have opened the Euro and ruble accounts with Gazprombank to make payments.
The latest development comes a day after Russia said it terminated gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria after they refused to make gas payments in rubles.
As a result of non-compliance with the rubles-for-gas requirement, further cutoffs are unlikely until the last half of May 2022 when the next round of payments is due to Russia, the person told Bloomberg.
The European Union told member states that opening accounts with Gazprombank would violate its sanctions.
In a separate announcement, Greece said it would help Bulgaria in meeting gas shortages as the latter faced gas supply cuts from Russia, reported Reuters.
Greece said it will make its next payment as scheduled at the end of May to Russian gas producer Gazprom.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ office was cited by the news agency as saying, in a statement: “The prime minister said that Greece will help Bulgaria to deal with the new situation caused by the Russian decisions on energy.”
A Greek source aware of the development said that the country would reverse the flow of the TurkStream pipeline to Bulgaria.
The pipeline transports Russian gas via the Black Sea, Turkey, and Bulgaria, to Greece.