Moscow wants to be paid in roubles for gas
Putin is demanding that states of the West pay for Russian gas deliveries in roubles in future. He said on Wednesday that he had instructed the Russian central bank and government to stop accepting payments in dollars or euros in a week's time, but deliveries would be guaranteed in full. Commentators are concerned about this latest development.
Putin will react harshly
Putin's demand that its gas supplies be paid for in roubles is worrying, La Stampa explains:
“Scary because it is a kind of commercial escalation in relations with the West, as well as with neighbouring Europe with which Moscow has built up relations for 60 years, based mainly on gas and oil exports. The next step, if this continues, will be to close the gas pipelines, because we will not accept this demand, precisely because we have imposed very tough financial sanctions. And then Putin will react harshly, with a freeze on exports, which means rationing supplies, because we don't have gas in the quantities that we normally import.”
Turn off the gas
If Western gas buyers go along with this they will be harming their own interests, comments the Badische Zeitung:
“The Russian currency would become stronger, inflationary pressure might decrease, and Putin could boast that he has finally found an adequate response to Western economic sanctions. That's probably his main goal. If only to deny him this success and weaken the war machine, it would behoove the West to now turn off the gas tap on its own initiative.”