Vladimir Putin: 'Nobody sells us anything for free, and we are not going to either'
“Naturally, it can't go on like this”
Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced that he signed the decree on a new procedure for settlements for Russian gas with unfriendly countries in rubles from April 1. According to the document, they must open ruble accounts in Gazprombank, from which payments will be made. It is worth noting that this applies only to Gazprom's deliveries via pipelines.
“If such payments are not made, we will consider it a default on the part of the buyers — with all ensuing consequences. Nobody sells us anything for free, and we are not going to do charity work either. That is, the existing contracts will be stopped," Putin said.
According to him, it makes no sense to use the currency of those Western countries whose financial system is used as a weapon.
“We supplied European consumers with our resources, in this case — gas. They received it, paid us in euros, which then they froze. In this regard, there is every reason to believe that we delivered part of the gas supplied to Europe virtually free of charge. Naturally, it can't go on like this. Moreover, in the case of further gas supplies and their payment according to the traditional scheme, new financial receipts in euros or dollars can also be blocked," Putin explained the introduction of payment for gas in rubles and noted that this is an important step towards strengthening Russia's financial and economic sovereignty.
Putin also announced an increase in the share of settlements in the national currency and the currencies of those countries that act as reliable partners in foreign trade.
“We comply with and will continue to comply with obligations under all contracts, including gas contracts, we will continue to supply gas in the established volumes — I want to emphasise this — and at prices determined in existing, long-term contracts," Putin stressed.
It should be noted that the cost of gas on the stock exchange in Europe against the background of Vladimir Putin's statements has jumped to $1,395 dollars per thousand cubic metres.
“It is a kind of inside-out populism — people are encouraged to eat less, dress warmer”
The president of Russia, speaking about Russian gas, said that its prices are several times lower than the current quotes on the spot market. However, according to Putin, some politicians are ready to neglect the interests of their citizens in order to “please their overseas master, the suzerain”.
“It is a kind of inside-out populism — people are encouraged to eat less, dress warmer to save on heating, to refuse to travel — and all this is supposedly for the benefit of those people who are required to undergo these voluntary deprivations for the sake of abstract North Atlantic solidarity. What questionable approaches and actions in economic, energy, and food policy on the part of Western countries we have been observing for more than a year. Step by step, decisions are being made that push the world economy into crisis, lead to the rupture of production and logistics ties, lead to an increase in global inflation and increased inequality, to a decline in the welfare of millions of people, and in the poorest countries — I have already said this — to the tragedy of mass starvation," the Russian leader noted.
The United States, as the Russian president noted, is again trying to solve its problems at someone else's expense, including wanting to launch a new wave of emissions and budget deficits, “and they are trying to blame their mistakes in economic policy on us”.
Now the United States wants to capitalise on the current global instability — global markets are falling, and the value of shares of companies in the American military-industrial complex is growing.
“The attempts by all means to switch Europe to expensive American liquefied gas is from the same series. As a result, Europeans are not only forced to fork out, but also, in fact, to undermine the competitiveness of European companies with their own hands, to remove them from the global market. For Europe, this means large-scale deindustrialisation and the loss of millions of jobs," he said.
Putin also touched upon the topic of the sanctions that have been imposed against Russia for many years. Their goal is to restrain Russia's development, undermine our sovereignty, weaken the potential in production, finance, and technology, he noted.
“Again, all these sanctions have been prepared in advance, they would have been imposed in any case — I want to emphasise this. In fact, these are sanctions for our right to freedom, for the right to be independent, for the right to be Russia. For that we do not want to dance to someone else's tune, sacrifice our national interests and traditional values," Putin concluded.