After opposition from Serbia and Hungary Russia has stated that Bulgaria will pay for the gas in rubles whether the west likes it or not.
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On Thursday, Russia responded to European countries’ worries about the plan to swap gas delivery payments from euros to rubles.
The decision by Moscow, according to Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, will cause a slew of complications. He explained that Bulgaria, the country that delivers gas to Serbia and Hungary, has stated its opposition to switching to rubles for gas payments.
Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesman, responded on Thursday by saying that the matter is closed and that Bulgaria will have to pay in rubles “whether they like it or not.”
He did, however, address Serbia’s worries, stressing that the country had avoided any aggressive activities or statements in relation to Ukraine.
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“This does not apply to Serbia. The problem remains to be solved and, naturally, Serbia’s concerns will be our top priority,” Peskov added.
“It’s absolutely normal, [Vucic] is right, this can really be a problematic situation, because in this case, Bulgaria took hostile steps against us, so they will have to pay in rubles, whether they want to or not, whether they like it or not,” Peskov stated.
Yavor Kuyumdzhiyev, Bulgaria’s former deputy energy minister, stated earlier this week that the country is heavily reliant on Russian gas and lacks alternatives.
President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia will only accept ruble payments for gas shipments to “unfriendly countries” as the first major response to Western sanctions.
The date for the transition to rubles in gas payments has yet to be declared. However, according to Peskov, the terms of the relocation would be communicated to Russian gas customers directly in due time.