President Vladimir Putin's threat to have "unfriendly" countries pay for Russian natural gas exports only in rubles from now on has got the not-so-friendly treatment from European Union nations.
Several EU leaders have come out saying it would be a gross violation of their contracts. From German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, they said they would not meet such demands.
The Russian threat is potent since the EU imports 90% of the natural gas used to generate electricity, heat homes and supply industry, with Russia supplying almost 40% of EU gas.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said, “What we have learned so far boils down to the fact that there are fixed contracts everywhere, where the currency in which payment is made is also part of the contract.”
Scholz said, “Those are the starting points that we have to work from.”
Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said, “In any case, if one element of a contract is changed, then we can talk about a whole range of issues, including the price.”