Russia refuses payments for gas from German firm for the first time
Tagesspiegel / Der Spiegel
Russia’s Gazprom bank has for the first time refused to accept a payment in euros from a German gas trader. Trading company and former Gazprom subsidiary Gazprom Marketing & Trading Ltd (GM&T), which was placed under German trusteeship in March after Gazprom pulled out, tried to pay for gas deliveries in April and May by using a roubles account but the payment was not accepted, Tagesspiegel writes. The federal economy and climate ministry confirmed the rejection and told news magazine Der Spiegel that there are “ambiguities in the processing of the payments”. The payments concerned only "marginal gas quantities of about 0.2 percent of the Russian import volumes to Europe” which would be replaced by purchases on the market and did not endanger supply security in Germany, the ministry said, adding that payments are not to be made in roubles, but “in euros, as contractually agreed”.
Refusing the payments constitutes a further escalation in the Russian-European energy conflict. It follows shortly after Russia's announcement to end gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria, whilst Germany said it was ready to impose an embargo on Russian oil imports.