Slovakia will pay for Russian natural gas in rubles if that’s what it takes to keep the commodity flowing, Slovak Economy Minister Richard Sulik has said on national television.
“If there is a condition to pay in rubles, then we will pay in rubles,” Sulik said. He stressed that Russian imports account for roughly 85% of all Slovakian gas supplies, so the country’s authorities will remain pragmatic on the issue.
“We cannot be cut off from gas,” Sulik emphasized, urging the rest of Europe to jointly seek a solution.
Nearly all of the countries of the European Union, of which Slovakia is a member, slapped Russia with economic sanctions over the past month, jeopardizing Russia’s ability to receive payments from trade partners in the European currency. In response, Russian President Vladimir Putin last week signed a decree introducing a new ruble gas payment mechanism.