1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites
A man walks out of a Gazprombank office
Under Putin's plan, Gazprombank will serve as an intermediary — converting foreign money into rublesImage: Vladimir Gerdo/TASS/dpa/picture alliance

Russia says gas payments must be made via ruble accounts

March 31, 2022

A decree signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin stipulates that Western countries must start paying for gas through a Russian bank that will transfer foreign currency into rubles.


Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday demanded foreign countries open accounts at Gazprombank to pay for Russian gas.

He said he would suspend gas supply contracts if "unfriendly" countries fail to comply with the order.

Putin said the decision comes into effect on April 1.

Putin had initially insisted that foreign countries pay for gas in rubles — a move seen as a bid to save Russia's economy, which has been hit by Western sanctions for the war in Ukraine.

Germany and other Western countries had firmly rejected the demand to pay for Russian gas in rubles, saying it was a breach of contracts that had been agreed with Russia. 

Purchasers must open ruble accounts: Putin

Kremlin: 'There is, in fact, no change'

According to a decree signed by Putin, foreign countries and companies must pay for Russian gas through Gazprombank accounts. 

Buyers must transfer foreign currency to a special, so called "K", account, and Gazprombank would then buy rubles on behalf of the buyers to transfer the payments in Russian currency to another special "K" account.

"De facto, for those who receive Russian gas, who pay for the deliveries, there is in fact no change. They just acquire rubles for the amount in currency which is stipulated in the gas contract," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday.

"Russia remains committed to all its obligations under existing contracts, both in quantity and in price," he said, adding that Putin and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz had discussed the system in detail a day earlier. 

Germany said on Wednesday that Putin assured Scholz that payments could still be made in euros.

Germany says will pay in euros

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said the payments for Russian gas is made according to the existing contracts. "That's the way it is, it will stay that way, and I made that clear yesterday in my conversation with President Putin," he said on Twitter. 

Germany's Finance Minister Christian Lindner said Berlin would now look into the technical details linked to Moscow's latest decree, reiterating that Germany would keep paying in euros.

Robert Habeck, the German economy minister, said that it is "crucial for us that the contracts are respected."

"It is important for us not to give a signal that we will be blackmailed by Putin," Habeck said.

Gas payments to be made in euros: Scholz

fb/nm (Reuters, EFE, dpa)

Skip next section Explore more
Skip next section DW's Top Story

DW's Top Story

UN Security Council meeting at UN headquarters in New York

Ukraine updates: Russia takes UN Security Council presidency

Skip next section More stories from DW
Go to homepage