The European Commission said Tuesday that the bloc's member states will not make payments for Russian gas in rubles, as Moscow has requested. Russia set March 31 as the deadline for changing payment mechanisms. Likewise, the G7 countries announced a day earlier their rejection of Moscow's request.
Russian President Vladimir Putin made a demand last week to unfriendly countries, the same ones that have imposed illegal economic sanctions against Russia, demanding that payments for Russian gas be made in rubles. Putin called on the government to develop the required tools to carry out the task and fixed a deadline for Thursday.
Meanwhile, Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday that Russia will not provide natural gas to the European market free of charge, stating that payments in euros and dollars will not be allowed as of March 31.
Russia has said that the new foreign exchange rule is aimed at countries responsible for the economic war unleashed against the country, noting that Moscow has faced the imposition of a large number of sanctions and the freezing of the nation's foreign exchange reserves. The hardest hit will likely be the U.S., Canada, Japan, Australia, and the EU, as well as a number of smaller countries.