Slovak Minister says ready to pay for Russian gas supplies in rubles

Bratislava: Slovakia cannot give up Russian gas and will pay for supplies in rubles if needed, Slovak Economy Minister Richard Sulik said on Sunday.

On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree stipulating that all contracts for gas supplies with companies registered in “unfriendly” countries be settled only in rubles starting April 1.

“The [Russian] gas supplies cannot be stopped. So, although this might sound too pragmatic for some, if there is a condition to pay [for Russian gas] in rubles, we will pay in rubles,” Sulik told the Slovak television.

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Bratislava is purchasing about 85% of its gas from Russia, and even though diversification of supply is beneficial for the country, it will take several years to achieve, the minister noted.

Europe has about six weeks to settle the current issue with payments for Russian gas supplies, he said.

“I advocate that we act together on this issue within the framework of the European Union and seek a common solution. But we cannot be cut off from gas,” Sulik added.

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