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Into the largely state-controlled banking system, the Kremlin will gain greater control over foreign currency that has become scarcer since Western countries froze. most of Russia’s reserves abroad. However, this would leave Gazprom without hard currency to make foreign debt payments or buy supplies abroad. The gas supplier must now sell 80% of its foreign currency to Russia’s central bank.The dispute over ruble payments has raised concerns that it could cause natural gas supply disruptions. This could leave Russia facing accusations of not honoring long-term energy contracts, which it has respected until now.

According to analysts at Rystad America Cell Phone Number List Energy, the European pipeline system is highly interconnected, so any attempt to limit flows in some countries would affect others. Furthermore, energy sales are a key source of income for Russia.Asked by reporters whether Russia could cut gas supplies to European customers if they refuse the request to pay in rubles, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a conference call on Monday that "of course we will not give gas supplies for free.

In our situation, it is difficult and impossible to engage in charity towards Europe," Mr. Peskov said.HOW REAL IS THE THREAT?The proposal for ruble payments prompted Germany’s gas and electricity utility association, BDEW, to call on the government to issue an “advance warning” of a major power shortage.Under EU and German law this is the first of three stages of energy emergency, the highest being when there are shortages so deep that the government has to shut off gas to industry to protect households.The German government sees no need for such a statement, a spokeswoman said on Monday.It is possible that Putin is bluffing. This month, Russia threatened to use the ruble to pay foreign investors who hold government bonds in dollars. However, the payments were made in dollars as rating agencies .