All G7 countries will not pay for Russian natural gas in rubles, German Vice-Chancellor, Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection Robert Habeck said, RIA Novosti reports.
According to Habeck, Russian President Putin will not be able to split the unity of the G7.
“All G7 ministers agreed completely that this (would be) a one-sided and clear breach of the existing contracts.” Officials from France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada met Friday to coordinate their position. EU representatives also were present at the meeting.
"Payment in ruble is not acceptable and we will urge the companies affected not to follow Putin’s demand," Habeck said.
Putin's demand comes as a single-handed a clear violation of existing contracts, where the payment format is prescribed.
At the same time, Kremlin's official spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia would not supply gas to Europe for free should European countries refuse to pay for Russian gas in rubles. Russia would rather turn to Southeast Asia if Europe refused to purchase raw materials from Russia.
Peskov admitted that he did not have the answer to the question of what measures Russia could take in the event that Europe refused to pay for Russian gas in rubles.
“We will not be supplying gas for free, that's for sure," he said during a press call with reporters.
Dmitry Peskov also said that Russia would compensate missing European customers with Asian ones. Europe is not the only oil market, he added.
Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed the government, the Central Bank and Gazprom to switch gas settlements with "unfriendly countries" into rubles by March 31. European officials said in response that they did not see any possibility to pay for gas in rubles.
Russia suspected the USA's involvement in the Nord Stream blasts immediately after the incident. As for the Norwegians, their participation in the incident seems very surprising