Moscow will use rubles in gas deals with “hostile” countries, the Russian president says
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that the sanctions have dealt a large blow to public trust in US and EU currencies. Many Western countries imposed sweeping restrictions on Moscow in response to its ongoing military campaign against Ukraine.
“During the last few weeks, as you know, several Western countries adopted unlawful decisions to freeze Russian assets,” Putin said during a government meeting held via video link. “The West has de facto destroyed the credibility of its currencies.”
Putin argued that the sanctions showed it “makes no sense anymore” to sell Russian goods in the US and the EU while receiving payment in dollars or euros. He said that the ruble will be used for the sale of Russian natural gas to “hostile” countries.
The United States and the EU have practically defaulted on their obligations before Russia. Some have suspected this, but now everyone in the world knows that obligations in the [US] dollars and euros can be left unfulfilled.
Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said this month that Russia was unable to access around $300 billion worth of reserves due to sanctions.
Moscow attacked Ukraine in late February, following a seven-year standoff over Kiev’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, and Russia’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics in Donetsk and Lugansk. The German- and French-brokered protocols had been designed to regularize the status of those regions within the Ukrainian state.
Russia has now demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.