Can Gazprom force us to pay for gas in rubles?

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By Harry Floudopoulos

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“Russian President Vladimir Putin may have said that unfriendly countries (including those in the European Union) would now have to pay for gas in rubles, not dollars or euros. threat “will need more than just the will of Moscow.

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As they transfer to sources with excellent knowledge of energy issues, at the moment Greece through the Public Gas Company DEPA pays the Russian Gazprom for the gas imported from Russia to Greece in euros. In fact, the relevant clause is a provision of the bilateral supply contract signed by DEPA with Gazprom. In this sense, any change in the contract requires the explicit consent of both parties and in no case can be made unilaterally. That is, if Gazprom wants to be paid in rubles instead of euros, then it will have to sit at the negotiating table with DEPA, formally submitting the relevant request to the Greek company. And as experts in the gas market typically report, if an issue of the contract is opened, then everything is opened, ie DEPA can ask for any consideration it deems legitimate, in order to accept the repayment of the contract in a currency other than the euro, as provided.

And of course under the current circumstances it is clear that such a possible negotiation escapes the purely business and corporate interest and acquires wider weight and interest. In this sense, if it reaches P. Heraklion, where the DEPA offices are located, a request from St. Petersburg and Gazprom for a change in the method of payment of the contract, the decision will not only be taken by the management of the Public Gas Company but will also be taken. Other parameters will be taken into account, including policies.

To the question whether Gazprom can proceed with a unilateral amendment of the contract, the answer given competently is only… “coup d’etat”. But even in this case, the Greek side has in its hands its own weapons, mainly the recourse to international arbitration, where it is mathematically certain that it will be justified, ensuring its full compensation for any damage it may suffer.

In each case, they have seized it, despite obstacles we can scarcely imagine. ” commitments made by Moscow, which can hardly be bypassed. This means that the success of the project to impose a mandatory repayment of Russia’s energy exports in rubles becomes extremely uncertain, as similar provisions exist in the contracts not only with DEPA but also with all other European companies that buy gas from Gazprom.

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Source: Capital

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