Hungary says it can pay for Russian gas in rubles without violating sanctions
Paying for Russian gas in rubles is not a violation of EU sanctions, Hungary's government said on April 9.
Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban said earlier last week that his country was ready to purchase Russian rubles if Moscow asked it to. Russian president Vladimir Putin has demanded that those "unfriendly" countries that have imposed sanctions against Russia should do so instead of making payments in euros and US dollars.
The EU has sought a united front against the measure, which European commission president Ursula von der Leyen has said would be a violation of sanctions.
"The EU has no common procurement of gas and oil for European countries. So as we speak, we still go alongside those contracts we have with the Russians regarding gas and oil, and according to those contracts, it is a technical issue, in what currency we have to pay," Hungarian government spokesperson Zoltan Kovacs said in an interview with CNN, posted on his social media pages.
Hungary gets over 80% of its gas from Russia, making it one of the countries most dependent on Gazprom for its supply in Europe. Von der Leyen has said Brussels is in discussion with Budapest about the currency issue.