Moscow’s new veto comes as the EU finalizes the sixth package of sanctions, which plans to reduce purchases of Russian oil
Poland, Bulgaria, Finland and now the Netherlands. They all run out of Russian gas. The Gas Terra company, 50% owned by the Dutch government, confirmed on Monday that from this Tuesday it will stop receiving the blue fuel supplied by the energy giant Gazprom by refusing to pay for the service in rubles, as required by Vladimir’s decree. Putin – which entered into force on April 1 – with which he counterattacks the cascade of international sanctions.
“We understand GasTerra’s decision not to accept the payment terms unilaterally imposed by Gazprom,” Dutch Energy Minister Rob Jetten wrote on Twitter. “This decision will have no consequences for the physical delivery of gas to Dutch households.” The company responsible for the acquisition and commercialization of gas in the country – in which half of the shareholding is distributed to 25% by the multinationals Shell and Exxon – has recently signed a contract with another supplier to acquire the 2,000 million cubic meters of gas that he expected to receive from Gazprom until October.
The payment in rubles that Moscow demands implies the creation of a kind of ‘bridge accounts’ in which payments would be made in euros for their subsequent conversion into the Russian currency. A mechanism that, as Gas Terra explains in its statement, could violate the sanctions of the European Union in addition to being a mechanism “with financial and operational risks.”
Summit for Ukraine
Meanwhile, the leaders of the Twenty-seven met in Brussels on Monday to provide greater humanitarian and military support to Ukraine, coordinate European defense and address the food security crisis caused by the Russian invasion.
They also tried to give new impetus to the discussion on the ban on oil imports and the adoption of the sixth package of sanctions against Moscow, until now blocked by Hungary. Leaders hope to pass it this week.
Although the Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, denied any principle of agreement. “There is no commitment. We are in a very difficult position because of the European Commission. They have made a proposal without letting the Member States decide. We have to change the approach », he criticized.
Hungary continues to put obstacles to a formula that has been subjected to a harsh examination since it was presented by the Community Executive in early May. And that initially included the total cut off of the Russian crude supply.
According to an official source, the document that the member states are now working on would contemplate a veto on crude imported to Europe by sea. This would leave out the supply through pipelines and allow the most reluctant states, such as Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, to build the necessary infrastructure to stop depending on Russia.
A partial embargo that would affect 66% of the crude oil imported from Moscow and would deal a heavy blow to the Russian economy, cutting the annual bill paid by the EU by 50 billion.
Vladimir Putin, European Commission, European Union (EU), Brussels, Europe, Holland, Hungary, Moscow, Czech Republic, Russia, Ukraine, War in Ukraine
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.