President Vladimir Putin’s threat to have “unfriendly” countries pay for Russian natural gas exports only in rubles from now on has got the not-so-friendly treatment from European Union nations.
Several EU leaders have come out saying it would be a gross violation of their contracts. From German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, they said they would not meet such demands, The Associated Press said.
The Russian threat is potent since the EU imports 90% of the natural gas used to generate electricity, heat homes and supply industry, with Russia supplying almost 40% of EU gas.
Economists say such a move seems designed to try to support the ruble, which has collapsed against other currencies since Russia invaded Ukraine and Western countries responded with far-reaching sanctions against Moscow.
Making such demands though, would fundamentally change contracts and render them null and void, several European leaders said during the first day of their EU summit.