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Netherlands, Denmark face gas cut off over refusal to pay Russia in rubles

Gazprom Export is on the verge of cutting off gas supplies to Denmark and the Netherlands as both countries have refused to purchase their oil in Russian currency. 

Denmark’s Orsted and GasTerra from the Netherlands have issued statements warning that they will not pay for gas supplies from Gazprom Export in rubles.

Both companies released statements saying that the payment deadline was May 31. Orsted maintained that Gazprom Export, Russia’s oil supplier, would stop supplies, although it said it would view this as a breach of contract.

“Gazprom Export continues to demand that Ørsted pays for gas supplies in roubles. We have no legal obligation under the contract to do so, and we have repeatedly informed Gazprom Export that we will not do so. The payment deadline is 31 May and Ørsted will continue to pay in Euros,” Orsted said on Monday. “Therefore, there is a risk that Gazprom Export will stop supplying gas to Ørsted. In Ørsted’s view, this will be a breach of contract.”

Orsted noted that no gas pipelines are going directly from Russia to Denmark, but it has storage facilities it is currently filing up in Denmark and Germany to ensure gas supplies to their customers.  

GasTerra, which buys and trades gas on behalf of the Dutch government, said its contract with Gazprom is due to end on October 1, but it has taken steps to buy gas from other suppliers.

“GasTerra has repeatedly urged Gazprom to respect the contractually agreed payment structure and supply obligations, but to no avail,” it said.

The company is 50 per cent owned by Dutch government entities and 25 per cent each by energy giants Shell and Exxon.

Russia cut off gas exports to Finland from May 21. The Russian company earlier cut off Poland’s PGNiG and Bulgaria’s Bulgargaz over their refusal to deal in rubles.

Read Full Story At: Peoples Gazette.