Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said on Friday that Prague has no plans to pay for Russian gas deliveries in rubles, as demanded by Moscow.
He was quoted by media after speaking at a joint press conference with his Polish counterpart, saying: “As for the ruble payment, the Czech Republic does not intend to give in to Russia’s blackmail. Other countries that agree to this are making a mistake. It is a violation of sanctions. It is dangerous.”
Danish energy group Orsted has also signaled it has no intention to pay for gas supply in the Russian currency. The company’s CEO Mads Nipper explained to Market Wire: “This is because we are devastated over what happens [in Ukraine] and refuse to give in to unilateral demands from Russia and Gazprom.”
Orsted has a long-term gas supply contract with Gazprom for annual deliveries of up to two billion cubic meters, which runs from 2011 to 2030.
Meanwhile, Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjarto said at a press conference, recorded Friday on his social media account, that some European companies that import natural gas from Russia have agreed to Moscow’s payment scheme, but they do not talk about it honestly.
Szijjarto explained that in order to buy gas, importing companies, and not countries, should open two accounts with Gazprombank, one in euros or dollars and another one in rubles.
“And we will do it, like others, I would like to emphasize, like others … it is not true that others have refused this, they simply do not talk about it so honestly for various reasons, and the international liberal media support them in that,” he said, adding “We are open about this issue.”
Szijjarto stressed that “natural gas can only be bought physically. I haven’t yet seen that one could heat an apartment with political positions or political statements.”