International press review

Headline: Moscow threatens to cut off gas to Europe if payment is not made in rubles

Audio 04:53

Russia is one of the world's leading oil and gas producers.

Here, the logo of the Russian giant Gazprom on one of its gas stations in Moscow, April 16, 2021. © AFP / Kirill Kudryavtsev

By: Véronique Rigolet Follow

4 mins

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Big scare yesterday in European capitals as the Russian president "

raised the diplomatic stakes again

", explains the

Guardian

by signing a decree "

requiring foreign buyers to pay for Russian gas in rubles - from this Friday - under penalty of seeing their contracts suspended

”.

"

A gas blackmail

" immediately rejected by Berlin, Paris and London, notes the British daily.

"

German Chancellor Scholz, whose country is Gazprom's biggest customer, immediately called Vladimir Putin

," reports the

FAZ

, the

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

"

to inform him of his refusal to pay in Russian currency

", like his European partners.

Faced with this united front and while "

gas exports to the EU bring in 800 million euros every day to Russia

", the Kremlin " 

finally opted for an alternative solution

", explains

El Pais

, "

the Europeans will continue to pay their gas in euros to Gazprombank, which will exchange them for rubles

”.

A “

win-win

” solution, comments the

Badische Zeitung

for which “

Putin saves face and bails out its national currency in the process

”, while the Europeans save their precious energy supplies.

A relief that does not prevent concern, however, notes the FAZ while "

Putin is playing on the war of nerves

”, with the Europeans with this threat to cut off their gas.

Moscow blows hot and cold, between negotiations and bombardments

Between the promises made at the negotiating table, and the bombardments which continue on the ground

”, “

Putin's strategy is difficult to follow

”, estimates the

New York Times,

 “

Is Putin bluffing or negotiating? a little?

“, also asks

La Repubblica

, which highlights that “

the tactical withdrawal of Russian troops towards Donbass in the east of the country and the pressure put on the strategic city of Mariupol which connects Crimea and Donbass to the south 

” gives in any case the impression that "

Putin seeks to divide Ukraine into 2 

".

After his failure in the north, the conquest of the east and the south of the country would allow him to arrive at the negotiating table with what "

negotiate a compromise which could allow him to save face

", analyzes the Italian daily .

"

As is the case in almost all conflicts

", adds the

Guardian

for its part, "

it is only when neither party is able to win militarily, that the 2 parties agree to negotiate

", this is why insists the daily, "

it is never again important for Westerners to increase their military aid to Kiev

", while Russia is preparing to launch "

new major offensives

".

Kremlin castigates US 'total misunderstanding' of Putin

The Kremlin visibly very angry that the British and American intelligence services yesterday “

suggested that the advisers of the Russian president would be afraid to tell him embarrassing truths

”.

Press reports Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov's annoyed response "

The State Department and the Pentagon have no real information about what's going on in the Kremlin, and they don't understand President Putin or how we work

".

A feeling shared by the editorialist of the

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

who, without doubting the revelations of Western spies, believes that "

it is quite possible that despite internal tensions, the Russian leaders are currently more united in the face of external pressure than 'they weren't before the war

'.

The

Guardian

wonders about the need to make public "

such revelations, very undiplomatic

" he judges while "

any ceasefire and any peace agreement will have to involve President Putin

".

Gérard Depardieu releases "his friend" Poutine

"

Even Depardieu

" drops Putin ironically the German press, "

Depardieu drops Putin in the middle of the war

", headlines

La Repubblica

which reports that the actor "

who had nevertheless been one of the greatest admirers of the Russian president whom he was even for a time compared to Pope John Paul II 

", has changed his mind and that he now denounces "

the crazy unacceptable excesses of Putin for which the Russian people are not responsible

".

The sacred monster of French cinema

”, says the Italian daily, undertakes to donate “

 all the receipts from its next shows in Paris to the Ukrainian victims

”.

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  • Ukraine

  • Russia

  • Energies

  • European Union

  • Germany

  • Vladimir Poutine

  • Olaf Scholz

  • United States

  • Newspaper

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