Austrian oil, gas and chemical group OMV wants to continue paying Russian natural gas bills in euros in line with EU sanctions. “We have now implemented a sanction-compliant payment process that ensures timely payment of gas delivery costs,” company spokesman Andreas Reinofner told Reuters today. Payment will continue in euros and entry into an account at Gazprombank.
Thus OMV considers that the performance of the contract is guaranteed. “We consider our payment obligations fulfilled by converting the amount of euros, and we do not expect that there will be any problem with Gazprombank converting the amount into rubles,” the spokesman said. By decree, Russia required payment for gas shipments in rubles. Otherwise, deliveries will be stopped. Gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria were halted after the two countries failed to accept the new payment system.
Several European gas suppliers had already made clear on Wednesday how they would pay for Russian gas without violating European sanctions. These are EnBW and Uniper from Germany, and Italian Eni and Engie from France. The exchange is handled by Russia’s Gazprombank, which is not subject to sanctions. On Thursday, European Commission officials announced that paying gas bills in euros or dollars to a Gazprombank account is in line with EU sanctions, even if the Russian side exchanges Western currencies for Russian currencies via another account in rubles.
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