Russian energy company Gazprom informed its customers officially on Friday with regards to new payment conditions for Russian gas while stating that deliveries done as of today must be paid in rubles.
The statement said that Gazprom respects the Russian law unconditionally as a Russian company and it conveyed officially to its payers about the new procedure for Russian ruble payments.
Speaking at a meeting with government officials in Moscow, President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday he signed a decree laying out the rules for trading Russian natural gas in rubles.
He added that Russia will halt gas supplies to buyers from 'unfriendly states' if they do not switch to payments in rubles as of April 1. 'To purchase Russian natural gas, they must open ruble accounts in Russian banks. It is from these accounts that the gas will be paid for starting on April 1,' he noted.
Meanwhile, 'if the conditions change' the new payments system can be abandoned, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a press meeting on Friday.
However he added that 'in the current conditions, payment in rubles are the most preferable and reliable option for us.'
Peskov also said that Russia will not immediately turn off gas flows if the payments are not done in rubles as of today, as payments on deliveries due after April 1 come in the second half of this month and May.
Reporting by Emre Gurkan Abay in Moscow
Writing by Ebru Sengul Cevrioglu