Rome, Berlin Allow Their Businesses To Open Ruble Accounts To Buy Russian Gas - Reports

MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 21st May, 2022) Companies in Germany and Italy were told that they can open ruble accounts to purchase Russian gas without violating sanctions imposed against Russia, Reuters reports citing sources.

Two sources said on Friday that German gas importers were told by Berlin (which had coordinated on the issue with the EU) that they can open ruble accounts, although payments should not be made to Gazprombank in the Russian currency.

A senior government source told Reuters that Rome had also coordinated with the European Commission on how to buy Russian gas legally and that the discussions with the EU took place before the Italian energy company Eni announced that it had started proceedings to open a ruble and a euro account with Gazprombank.

EU diplomats told Reuters that it appears that the EU guidelines on purchasing Russian gas were intentionally vague in order to allow business to operate as usual.

Earlier this month, European Commission Chief Spokesman Eric Mamer said that the EU had not changed its recommendations regarding payments for Russian gas, which must be made in the Currency specified in the contract.