23 Mar 2022 16:17

Payments in foreign currency for goods supplied to U.S., EU become pointless due to default by West on obligations to Russia - Putin

MOSCOW. March 23 (Interfax) - The West has de facto defaulted on its obligations to Russia, Russian President Vladimir Putin said, suggesting that payments for Russian commodities supplied to the European Union and the United States should no longer be made in a foreign currency.

"In the past few days, this week, some Western countries made illegitimate decisions on the so-called freezing of Russian assets. The collective West de facto drew a line under the reliability of its currencies, dashing trust in these currencies. The U.S. and the EU have generally defaulted on their obligations to Russia," Putin said at a meeting with government officials on Wednesday.

"Everyone in the world knows now - they had suspected it - and now everyone knows that obligations in dollars and euro cannot be fulfilled," the president said.

"It is perfectly obvious that in this connection there is no point for us anymore to supply our commodities to the EU and the U.S. and get payments in dollars, euro, some other currencies," Putin said.

Putin said he had discussed the matter with his colleagues in the past few days, saying he "defined such actions by the U.S. and the EU earlier" and has "no intention of going into details again."

The Russian leadership has decided to switch to ruble payments for the export of natural gas to unfriendly states, Putin told the government.

The Central Bank and the government have one week to determine the procedure for gas importers buying rubles on the domestic market of Russia, the president said.

Russia will continue to supply gas in accordance with the volumes and price-formation principles stipulated in the contracts, he added. The only change is the payment currency.