Pay me what you owe me (in the correct currency)

By Scoop
June 1, 2022 · less than 3 min read

GasTerra refuses to pay Russia in rubles. Putin pouts.

GasTerra say they’ll “Nether” budge

Russian energy giant Gazprom is about to stop supplying natural gas to the Netherlands. Why? Because Putin is throwing his toys out of the pram and demanding that Dutch trader GasTerra pays for its gas in rubles. (Mamma mia, here he goes again…)

If the Netherlands agreed to this new stipulation, they would need to open a euro to ruble account with Gazprombank in Moscow to process their payments. GasTerra says no thanks, this isn’t something they’ll be doing and that if they did, they would risk falling foul of EU sanctions, creating a whole host of financial and operational risks for the country. We can’t say it’s the most appealing offer.

Given that the Netherlands relies on Mother Russia for around 15% of its gas, residents of the country are understandably concerned about the situation. But the government has promised there will be no consequences for the physical supply of gas to Dutch households, as there are plenty of short-term gas reserves, and plans are being enacted to import more gas from different countries. Phew.

Denmark’s up next

Denmark’s power company, Orsted, is also refusing to pay Russia in rubles. In a recent press release, the company said, “We have no legal obligation under the contract to do so, and we have repeatedly informed Gazprom Export that we will not do so. There is a risk that Gazprom Export will stop supplying gas to Orsted.”

Like GasTerra, Orsted is confident that Denmark will be totally fine if Gazprom does stop its supply. Both countries produce their own natural gas and have their own reserves, and Orsted will then seek to buy gas on the European market. You go, Denmark.

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