Hungary plans to pay for Russian gas in euros through Gazprombank, which will convert the payment into roubles to meet a new requirement set by President Vladimir Putin, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Monday. Putin has warned Europe it risks having gas supplies cut unless it pays in roubles as he seeks retaliation over Western sanctions for Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Under the scheme, Hungarian energy group MVM’s subsidiary, CEE Energy, would pay an upcoming bill in euros, which Gazprombank would convert into roubles and then transfer to Russia’s Gazprom Export, Szijjarto told a news conference. With weeks to go before bills are due, the European Commission has said that those with contracts requiring payment in euros or dollars should stick to that. Prime Minister Viktor Orban said last week Hungary was prepared to pay roubles for Russian gas, breaking ranks with the European Union which has sought a united front in opposing Moscow’s demand for payment in the currency.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 12th, 2022.
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