Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Austria denies paying for Russian gas in roubles

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Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer said on Wednesday that Austria was continuing to pay for Russian gas in euros, not, as Russian news agency TASS, had reported earlier, in roubles.

Nehammer called the reports of rouble payments fake news.

He wrote on Twitter that “Austria is following the jointly agreed EU sanctions to the letter.’’

Speaking outside a government meeting on the payment conditions between Austrian energy company OMV and Russian gas supplier Gazprom on Wednesday.

Nehammer said that President Vladimir Putin had told him two weeks ago that payments in euros would continue to be accepted, and that this remained unchanged.

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Information received by the dpa suggested that an agreement between OMV and Gazprom, according to which OMV would make payments in euros and Gazprom would convert them into roubles, had not been finalised.

Nehammer and Energy Minister Leonore Gewessler announced 6.6 billion euros (7 billion dollars) to expand Austria’s strategic gas reserves, with the goal of filling gas reservoirs to 80 per cent capacity by winter.

Russia is still supplying Austria with natural gas.

Moscow cut off supplies to Poland and Bulgaria overnight.

Austria relies on Russian gas for around 80 per cent of its demand.

dpa/NAN

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