G7 finance ministers have rejected Russian President Vladimir Putin’s demand that Russian gas supplies be paid for in rubles in future. This was said by Federal Economy Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) after a digital meeting of his counterparts in Berlin.
“All G7 ministers fully agreed that this is a unilateral and clear violation of existing treaties,” Habeck said. “Payment in rubles is not acceptable,” Habeck said, calling on companies not to comply with Putin’s request.
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Russian President Vladimir Putin announced last week that gas deliveries to “hostile states” would only be invoiced in rubles. This would support the troubled Russian currency as importing countries would have to get hold of rubles. Germany is also one of the affected countries. Until now, gas deliveries have been paid for in Germany, for example, in euros.
Habeck assumes that Putin “has his back against the wall” due to economic sanctions and the collapse of the ruble. Due to sanctions against the central bank, Russia can still print rubles, but it is almost impossible to obtain foreign currency from other countries.
Germany currently chairs the group of states, which includes Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Canada, the United States and Great Britain. The EU also participated in the round, Habeck said.
Putin’s demand was aimed at breaking the unity of the West. However, the unanimous decision of the G7 demonstrates unity. “We will not allow ourselves to be divided and the response of the G7 countries is clear: the agreements will be fulfilled,” said Habeck.