Putin tells ‘unfriendly’ nations to pay in roubles for Russian gas as economic sanctions bite

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Russia’s leader has told “unfriendly” nations they must start paying for gas in roubles from April 1, 2022, or Moscow will cut off their supplies. President Vladimir Putin signed a decree the previous day stating that foreign buyers “must open rouble accounts in Russian banks". The decision is seen as an attempt to boost Russia’s currency, which has been hit by Western sanctions as a punishment for Moscow’s decision to invade Ukraine. As the supplier of about 40 per cent of the gas used in the European Union, Russia currently earns €400m (US$443 million) per day from gas sales. But the US and EU have announced deals to reduce Europe's reliance on Russian energy. By December, Washington says it will provide EU nations with about 10 per cent of the gas they currently source from Russia.

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