Austria Will Pay in Rubles for Russian Gas – Official

Austria has accepted the new ruble gas payment mechanism, introduced by Russia earlier this month, and will abide by it, Chancellor Karl Nehammer announced on Wednesday.

“We, that is, [state energy company] OMV, accepted the terms of payment, as did the German government. They [the terms] were found to be in line with the terms of the sanctions. For us, this was important,” Nehammer said at a press conference.

He added, however, that Austria still supports Ukraine-related anti-Russia sanctions.

“Before the fake news of Russian propaganda steps in,” he stressed, “of course, OMV continues to pay for gas supplies from Russia in euros. Austria adheres to the point of view and supports the jointly adopted EU sanctions.”

According to the official, Austrian oil and gas company OMV has already opened an appropriate account with a Russian bank for transferring payments. Nehammer noted that during his recent trip to Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin explained the new payment mechanism and assured him of further gas supplies in full.

On March 31, Putin signed a decree that defined a new procedure for paying for Russian gas supplies by buyers from ‘unfriendly’ countries, which placed sanctions on Moscow in response to its military operation in Ukraine.

The news puzzled Russia’s gas buyers, who feared that they would be expected to pay for the commodity in Russian rubles. However, according to the document, buyers will be able to pay in their currency of choice but will have to open a ruble account in Russia’s Gazprombank so that the payments can be converted into rubles and reach Russian gas providers.

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