'Unfriendly' countries will now have to pay Russia oil, gas in rubles: Putin

In a televised government address, Putin said, "I have made a decision to implement in the shortest possible time a set of measures to switch payments for ... our natural gas supplied to the so-called unfriendly countries to Russian rubles."

Unfriendly countries will now have to pay Russia oil, gas in rubles: Putin
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Source: AP

Moscow: President Vladimir Putin has said Russia will only accept payments in rubles for natural gas it has sold to "unfriendly" countries. The list of countries include all EU members, after sanctions were imposed of Moscow was hit by unprecedented sanctions over Ukraine.


In a televised government address, Putin said, "I have made a decision to implement in the shortest possible time a set of measures to switch payments for ... our natural gas supplied to the so-called unfriendly countries to Russian rubles."


He further said, "I have decided to implement a set of measures to transfer payment for our gas supplies to unfriendly countries into Russian rubles." 


Immediately after his announcement, the ruble -- which fell sharply since the start of the Russia-Ukraine war -- strengthened against the dollar and euro, while gas prices too saw a favourable increase. 


Putin in his address, however, said Russia will continue supplying the volume of gas outlined in its contracts. He also ordered Russia's central bank to implement the new payment system within a week, saying it must be "transparent" and will include the buying of rubles on Russia's domestic market.


The Russian President also hinted that other exports from the country may be affected. 


(Inputs from CNN)

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