French President Emmanuel Macron has told Vladimir Putin that he will not agree to Russia’s requests to pay for gas in Rubles, however France does buy about 20% of its annual gas supply from Russia so it could be a costly move.
Macron went on to tell Putin that he believed it would be impossible for Western nations to pay for gas in Rubles. He is quoted as saying that “France is against paying in rubles.”
The Kremlin also confirmed that Moscow’s proposal on Ruble payments had been discussed between the two leaders, however, did not elaborate any further on the position of both sides.
Putin has already ordered Russia’s central bank and energy giant Gazprom to prepare proposals to have all gas purchases by “unfriendly” countries to be paid in Rubles. On Tuesday this week the EU and G7 rejected this plan, although the Kremlin has stated that it would not supply gas for free, as Euros and Dollars would not be accepted post March 31 this year.
Previously Russia’s list of “unfriendly states” only included the US and Czech Republic however since the start of March the list was significantly increased. The list now includes all EU members, Ukraine, the UK, Japan, Canada and other nations, all of whom have condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The countries on the new updated list are subject to retaliation measures, restrictions and specific requirements from Russia. One other initiative saw Russia’s Finance Ministry requesting any organisation that wants to work with firms in countries on this list to first receive government permission first. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also announced that citizens of “unfriendly states” will also be affected by visa sanctions, restricting entry into Russia.