Greece and the entire EU are waiting to see if Germany will agree to Russia’s demand for Gazprom gas supply payments in the ruble currency.
Berlin’s next payment to Russia’s state-controlled Gazprom is due tomorrow. To date, Chancellor German chancellor Olaf Scholz has refused to bow to Moscow’s recent payment-term demands.
The decision to be reached by Germany on this dispute with Moscow is expected to serve as a guide for most EU members.
Berlin has officially noted that Russian president Vladimir Putin’s payment demand violates the terms of an agreement signed between the two sides.
Besides creating artificial demand and, subsequently, greater value for the ruble, which has been impacted by sanctions on Russia, Moscow’s demand for natural gas payments in its currency is also seen as a Russian show of strength aiming to force the EU to succumb to Russian demands.
The EU’s refusal, so far, to bow to Russia’s ruble-currency pressure for natural gas payments has contributed to keeping gas prices at high levels.
Greek officials who took part in an energy-security meeting yesterday, called by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, reportedly stated that the EU made a mistake to reject Russia’s ruble payment demand, made in late March.
The ongoing political tension and market turbulence, resulting in higher natural gas prices, is benefitting Russia’s gas revenues.