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As far as I understood, for the purchase of Russian gas, European countries can't pay Russia in EUR because of their sanction on Russia. On the other hand, as per Putin's decree, Russia only accepts Rubles.

However, last time I read, European countries are paying EUR to GazpromBank, and the bank is converting EUR to Ruble. That means gas customers are paying in EUR, not Ruble.

So, how is that consistent with Putin's decree?

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  • AFAIK it's a European subsidiary of GazpromBank, which allows them to claim Europe is paying rubles, without actually changing anything. Jul 11, 2022 at 9:06
  • They convert euro in roubles, by exchanging them at a bank, and then pay in roubles. What is misleading here is that GazpromBank has a name similar to Gazprom, since historiclally it was a part of Gazprom group, and Gazprom is still an important shareholder of this bank.
    – Roger V.
    Jul 11, 2022 at 9:57
  • @RogerVadim, Where is GazpromBank getting its supply of Ruble from?
    – user366312
    Jul 11, 2022 at 10:10
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    @user366312 it is a Russian bank, so it has many Russian clients... the question is akin to asking where the American banks get dollars from. Now, one may assume that, if demand for rubles in the bank is much greater than demand for euro, it would have difficulties to sustain its balance - I doubt though that this is the case.
    – Roger V.
    Jul 11, 2022 at 10:37
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    @user366312 This is just currency exchange - most international banks do it. If your question is in general about how banks exchange currency, it is more appropriate for finance or economics communities. If you are claiming there is something special about how Gazprombank does it - it is not clear in what sense it is unusual.
    – Roger V.
    Jul 11, 2022 at 10:47

1 Answer 1

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This way, Gazprom does not have to hold EUR (which may be confiscated at any moment even as gas still has to be shipped).

Instead, Gazprom gets its payment in RUB and the only entity holding EUR is a European subsidiary of GazpromBank. If EU decides to go after GazpromBank then Gazprom is already paid in full and ECB has to take responsibility for this European bank, probably with holes in its debt sheet.

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    Where is GazpromBank getting its supply of Ruble from?
    – user366312
    Jul 11, 2022 at 10:09
  • I don't know, but I would assume it borrows roubles and that debt is what the ECB will inherit in case it decides to close this bank.
    – alamar
    Jul 11, 2022 at 10:16

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