Elise Denjean 6:05 p.m., April 2, 2022, modified at 6:06 p.m., April 2, 2022

Vladimir Putin's ultimatum to Europe has come into force: you have to pay for gas in rubles.

Germany, particularly dependent on Russian gas, has received the decree and is reviewing it.

France, for its part, seems to have found a way around the problem. 

Vladimir Putin announced on Russian television that gas buyers will have to pay for their imports in rubles from Friday April 1.

Otherwise, the buyers will be considered in default of payment and the contracts cancelled.

France, for its part, seems to have found a way around the problem. 

Payment in euros with Gazprombank

According to the Minister of Ecology, Barbara Pompili, European companies could indeed continue to pay in euros with Gazprombank, the bank of the Russian gas giant, which would then take care of the conversion into rubles.

A scenario that seems quite possible for Olivier Dorgans, lawyer in international law. 

"This supposes that, initially, the European companies which are supplied with Russian gas open two accounts, one in euros and one in rubles with Gazprombank", he explains on Europe 1. "They would have to first pay the equivalent of the debt into their euro account and then ask Gazprom to make this conversion and pay Gazprombank from their ruble account". 

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Sums that would end up in the pockets of the Russian state

A sleight of hand that would allow both parties to save face.

Except that, in practice, this solution would charge Europeans the cost of converting from the euro to the rouble.

These sums would end up in the pockets of the Russian state.

Which seems a little contrary to the spirit of the sanctions taken against Vladimir Putin's country.

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