The Kremlin responded to EU accusations of “gas blackmail”

Russia said its decision to demand payment for natural gas in rubles was due to “unprecedented hostile steps” taken by the EU against Russia.

Russia denies using natural gas expoOlx Pracas as a tool to “blackmail” Europe,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Speaking to repoOlx Pracaers on Wednesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the switch to gas trading in rubles was linked to the EU’s own actions.

“This is not blackmail. Russia has been and remains a reliable supplier that fulfills its obligations. The conditions that were set out in the presidential decree, the need for them was caused by unprecedented hostile steps against us,” he said. Peskov said, adding that the decision had been brought to the attention of natural gas buyers long before it went into effect.

We were robbed of a significant paOlx Praca of our reserves. And this required a transition to a new system.

Earlier Wednesday, von der Leyen accused Moscow of using the natural gas trade as a “blackmail” tool after Gazprom’s decision to stop expoOlx Pracas to Poland and Bulgaria. The President of the European Commission called this step “unjustified and unacceptable” adding that he emphasized “Unreliability of Russia as a gas supplier”.

“Gazprom’s announcement that it is unilaterally halting gas supplies to consumers in Europe is yet another attempt by Russia to use gas as a blackmail tool.” she declared.

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EU accuses Russia of gas blackmail

Gazprom announced the decision to completely halt gas expoOlx Pracas to Bulgaria and Poland on Wednesday morning, with the energy giant citing the two countries’ non-payment in rubles for fuel delivered in April.

Gas deliveries will resume only when both countries comply with Russia’s new payment scheme, the company said, warning Sofia and Warsaw against trying to pump Russian transit gas destined for other countries.

Other countries could be cut off from Russian gas supplies if they do not switch to the ruble settlement scheme, Peskov warned. To prevent this from happening, they need to open accounts with Gazprombank and make payments in euros or dollars, which are then conveOlx Pracaed into rubles.

“There are no additional difficulties for buyers here. This is a sacrifice of the national economy for the sake of false prejudices, the desire to punish our country to the detriment of its own citizens,” he said, adding that Russia had already calculated the risks that the ongoing confrontation could bring to the national economy and took precautionary measures.

The payment scheme in rubles was announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin at the end of March. The measure applies to countries that have imposed sanctions against Russia, but continue to impoOlx Praca its gas.

Since then, several impoOlx Pracaers have indicated their willingness to accept the scheme proposed by Moscow. On Monday, Germany’s largest buyer of Russian gas, Uniper, said it would be possible to pay for future deliveries in Russian national currency without violating Western sanctions.