German and French economic ministers said Thursday that they were committed to existing agreements with Russia on making the payments for Russian gas supplies only in euros.
“The contracts are in euros and must be paid in euros and will be paid in euros,” French Minister of Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire said during a joint news conference with his German counterpart Robert Habeck.
“We will not accept the method of payment for [Russian] gas in any other currency than stated in the contract,” Le Maire added.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that according to a newly signed decree regarding natural gas trading with “unfriendly countries,” companies will need to have accounts in Russian banks and pay for contracts in rubles.
At a separate news conference Thursday, Habeck said that Germany is “prepared” for all scenarios, including a stoppage of Russian gas flows to Europe, while Le Maire said France is “preparing” in case Russia cuts off gas deliveries.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz also insisted Thursday that Berlin will make payments for Russian gas only in euros.
“We have looked at the contracts on gas delivery and other deliveries. [The contracts state] that payments are to be made in euros, sometimes in US dollars, but mostly in euros. And I made clear in my conversation with the Russian president that this will remain as it is,” Scholz said in Berlin during a joint news conference with his Austrian counterpart Karl Nehammer.
“It is a terrible feeling to be dependent on Russian energy at the moment,” the Austrian chancellor said.
“We must secure energy supplies to make sure that the economy functions, because the gas coming from Russia is not only being used for private households but also by industries where jobs are concerned, and prosperity must be maintained,” Nehammer said.