Sunday, May 15, 2022

The EU advises how to pay for gas in rubles and not to break the sanctions. Poland demands an explanation

 A closed meeting of representatives of the European Commission (EC) and EU diplomats was held in Brussels on Friday evening, at which the European Commission presented an interpretation of how EU countries could pay in rubles for Russian gas without breaking EU sanctions. Germany and France supported the position of the EC. Poland and the Netherlands were extremely critical of such an approach to sanctions and the EU's "rule of law."

When asked about this issue, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki pointed out that the negotiations taking place within the 27 EU countries "unfortunately, often boil down to the fact that solutions are developed on the lowest common mathematical denominator." "This means that if Germany, Hungary, Austria or the Netherlands are against something, we cannot implement another package of sanctions without their consent," said the head of government.

"With some disappointment, I noticed that there was permission to pay for gas in rubles, something Putin was trying to achieve" - said Morawiecki.

He recalled that Poland was fined by Russia for not paying in rubles by cutting off gas supplies. At the same time, he assured that Poland would stick to the rules and would not bow to Putin's blackmail. 

"We are among those who demand radical sanctions packages because we believe that this war can be stopped not only militarily, but also economically," said Morawiecki. He stressed that Moscow must understand that Europe is taking sanctions seriously, knowing that they are costly but necessary. 

"These are not one or two member states, but several, or maybe more, EU countries that want to bow down and pay in rubles. We say no firmly NO: let us move away from Russian hydrocarbons (...)" - summed up the Prime Minister. 

France, which currently holds the presidency of the EU Council, unexpectedly convened a working group meeting of EU diplomats on Friday evening about paying in rubles for Russian gas. At the meeting, the European Commission presented instructions on how EU countries can pay in rubles for Russian gas in such a way that it does not violate EU sanctions.