OMV to open rouble accounts to pay for Russian gas: press
Austria's OMV is set to open an account with the Switzerland branch of Gazprombank, allowing it to pay for Russian gas in roubles in line with Moscow's decree, the Financial Times reported April 28.
However OMV officially said it was working on a "sanctions-compliant" solutions, and did not confirm the FT's account. Italy's Eni is also thought to be considering its options, ahead of its next billing date for Russian gas in May, the FT said. Germany's Uniper is also looking at the matter, with the Rheinische Post now reporting it will transfer payments to a Russian bank to manage billing in roubles.
European customers are scrambling to find a solution with payments to Gazprom on the horizon. The Russian giant suspended supplies to Poland and Bulgaria earlier this week, dealing the first blow in Moscow's bid to enforce the ruble payments policy.
Both Poland and Bulgaria are highly dependent on Russian gas imports - Poland imports around two-thirds of consumption, while around 90% of gas imported to Bulgaria is from Russia. PGNiG and Bulgargaz, however, say they have contingency plans to cover the Russian gas share in the immediate term, and it remains to be seen whether there will be any impact on the consumer.