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When the Gas Taps went Dry

Many in Europe and market-related participants will remember yesterday as it was the day Russia closed the gas flowing to Poland and Bulgaria due to non-payment of the supply in rubles.


Though for many there would be low importance of this action for the European Union it was a high and panic situation. Due to this an emergency meeting of EU energy ministers is scheduled on 2nd May that was earlier being planned on 24th May. The major payment deadline for many countries in Europe is by 20th May.


There have been some companies and countries that have started to pay the gas supply in rubles but the majority is still against it and labels it as a breach of contract. But as happened with Poland many countries would not want the same for themselves.


Thus, there would be an approach that would lead these countries to pay in the ruble and then make an extra purchase during the summer months, as they would plan to reduce the dependency on Russia in the winter months. This would be taken as a win for Russia and a defeat for sanctions, not any country.


There would be plans to switch from Russia's energy supplies, especially by Europe but such a task is hard to implement in the real world even if leaders are aware of it. As of today, Germany buys 35% of its gas demand from Russia and for other countries, it is higher.


It is a big structural shift in payment mechanism and may be a necessary one as relying on a single more of currency gives an unbelievable power to influence and create restrictions that are unilateral with multilateral impacts.

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