Source: kurir | Sunday, 22.05.2022.| 10:39
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Ruble Accounts Approved for German and Italian Companies – Guidelines Still Unclear

(Photo: SergBob/shutterstock.com)
Germany and Italy told companies they could open ruble accounts to keep buying Russian gas without breaching sanctions against Moscow following discussions with the European Union, as confirmed for Reuters by well-informed sources.

It is reported that Brussels has given two sets of written guidance on how to buy Russian gas without breaching sanctions, but the legal route remains foggy as EU officials also advised firms in a closed-door meeting not to open ruble accounts with Gazprombank.

The debate over Russia's demand that foreign buyers pay for gas in rubles has tested the resolve of European governments to take a hard line against Moscow over the war in Ukraine, Reuters writes.

Poland, Bulgaria and Finland have refused to comply with Moscow's demand that importers pay for gas via ruble accounts with Gazprombank and their supplies have been cut.

Other member states, however, have been unwilling to steer companies towards action that could result in losing vital supplies of Russian gas that heats homes and powers factories.

Some diplomats in Brussels from EU member states said they thought the advice was intentionally vague to enable countries to open ruble accounts and keep buying Russian gas.

– One has the impression that it leaves the door open for business as usual – one diplomat said, Reuters reports.

The diplomat added that in their view it risked undermining EU unity against Russia if companies in some countries opened ruble accounts but others did not, Kurir writes, citing Reuters.

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