MOSCOW, March 30. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin informed German Chancellor Olaf Scholz regarding the decision to switch to payments for Russian gas in rubles, the Kremlin press service reported. The two leaders had a phone conversation on Wednesday.
"Vladimir Putin informed the Federal Chancellor on the subject of switching to payments for gas supplies in Russian rubles, in particular, for Germany. The change in the payment procedure is being introduced due to the fact that, in violation of international law, the foreign exchange reserves of the Bank of Russia were frozen by the EU member-states," the statement said.
Besides that, Putin and Scholz agreed that the transition to paying for Russian gas in rubles will discussed by experts from the two countries.
"It was noted that the decision taken should not lead to a deterioration in the contractual terms for European companies, which import Russian gas. It was agreed that experts from the two countries would additionally negotiate on this matter," the press service said.
Previously, Putin ordered, that unfriendly states must pay for Russian gas in rubles. He said Moscow would refuse to accept payment under gas contracts with those states in "compromised" currencies, meaning dollars and euros. He ordered the government to instruct Gazprom to make the necessary changes to the existing contracts.
Scholz had earlier opposed paying for Russian gas supplies in rubles, stressing that that the contracts provided for payment in euros. He also said that Germany would reduce its dependence on energy resources from Russia, but a sharp embargo could adversely affect the labor market and industry and lead to an economic crisis.
On February 24, Putin said in a televised address on February 24 that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation. The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories. After that the US, the EU, the UK and a number of other states announced that they would impose sanctions against Russian legal entities and individuals.