Kremlin decree: Foreign currency can still buy natural gas

AP , Thursday 31 Mar 2022

A Kremlin decree published by state media says ``unfriendly countries`` can continue to pay for natural gas in foreign currency through a Russian bank that will convert the money into rubles.

BP oil refinery Ruhr Oil in Gelsenkirchen, Germany,
A worker rides his bicycle to the BP oil refinery Ruhr Oil in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, Monday, March 28, 2022. AP

President Vladimir Putin talked tougher Thursday, saying Russia will start accepting ruble payments for its gas supplies from ``unfriendly countries`` starting Friday and contracts will be stopped if buyers don't sign up to the new conditions.

He says to buy gas, customers ``would have to open ruble accounts in Russian banks.``

The decree Putin signed and published by state news agency RIA Novosti says a designated bank will open two accounts for each buyer, one in foreign currency and one in rubles. The buyers will pay in foreign currency and authorize the bank to sell that currency for rubles, which are placed in the second account, where the gas is formally purchased.

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