Putin allows Western countries to pay gas debts in foreign currencies

By Anadolu Agency

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree Friday allowing “unfriendly” Western countries to pay debts for fuel in foreign currencies.

The repayment of debts of the countries will not mean the resumption of Russian gas shipments, according to the decree.

The decree changed an earlier decision seeking payment in rubles for gas sales from “unfriendly” countries.

On March 31, Putin said “unfriendly countries” — those that introduced sanctions against Russia — must pay for gas supplies in rubles after they froze the Russian central bank’s currency assets because of the Ukraine war that started Feb. 24.

In late April, Russia’s state-owned Gazprom cut off gas flow to Poland and Bulgaria due to their refusal to pay bills in rubles.

Gazprom also stopped shipments to energy companies supplying to Finland, the Netherlands, Denmark, Latvia and Germany, on the grounds they did not comply with the pay-in-ruble system.