Austria confirms refusal to pay for Russian gas in rubles
At the same time, the head of the Austrian Foreign Ministry noted that with his decisions, President Putin achieved “opposite results”, making the NATO countries “more united”
Austria does not plan to pay for gas supplied by Russia in rubles. Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg stated this in an interview with Al Jazeera.
“Our position is clear. We are committed to existing agreements [with the Russian side] and will not pay in rubles, we have no such intention, — said the diplomat (quoted by TASS).
He also stressed that Russian President Vladimir Putin achieved “opposite results” with his decisions, making the NATO countries “more united”.
At the end of March, Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed to transfer payments for gas with unfriendly countries (the list includes all EU countries, the USA, Great Britain and a number of other states) into rubles. The European Commission believes that the new payment scheme is contrary to the European sanctions regime. The scheme began to work on April 1.
Earlier, Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer said that Austria does not intend to switch to the payment scheme proposed by Russia. In turn, the head of the Austrian energy company OMV, Alfred Stern, pointed out that Austria was not yet ready to impose a ban on gas imports from Russia, because without supplies it would not be possible to ensure the necessary level of gas supply. “I don't think we're ready for an embargo today. Unless we're willing to accept the consequences. Because you need to clearly understand one thing: our gas supply is provided not by our own production in Europe, but by supplies from Russia,— he declared.
At the same time, Austrian Energy and Climate Minister Leonore Gewessler announced the EU plans to phase out Russian gas by 2027. According to her, the European Union is 80% dependent on Russian gas. “We must free ourselves from this [addiction], because addiction makes us vulnerable to blackmail and raises prices,” the minister pointed out.
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