17 May 2022 09:44

Italy's Eni mulls opening accounts at Gazprombank to pay for Russian gas - paper

ROME. May 17 (Interfax) - Italian energy company Eni is considering opening accounts at Gazprombank in euros and rubles in order to pay for gas supplies from Russia, business daily Il Sole 24 Ore reported.

Eni is considering initiating actions needed to open accounts in euros and rubles to pay for Russian gas without violating contracts with Gazprom , the Italian paper said, citing sources.

A spokesman for the company said that Eni has not yet opened such accounts. The company will apparently wait until the last moment in case European Union institutions publish regulatory documents, the paper said.

President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on March 31 on a "special procedure for foreign buyers' fulfilment of obligations to Russian suppliers of natural gas," under which payment for Russian pipeline gas supplied after April 1 to foreign counterparties specified in the decree must be made only in rubles.

Under this procedure, special "K" type ruble and foreign currency accounts are opened at the authorized financial institution, Gazprombank (GPB) , for foreign buyers. Foreign buyers pay for gas in the currency of the contract, which the bank then sells on the Moscow Exchange and transfers rubles to Gazprom . This is the point at which payment for the gas is considered to be completed. If this condition is not met, gas supplies will be suspended.