Rublegas is the commodity currency du jour and it isn’t nearly as complicated as NATO pretends. If Europe wants gas, all it needs to do is send its Euros to a Russian account inside Russia.
Saddam, Gaddafi, Iran, Venezuela – they all tried but couldn’t do it. But Russia is on a different level altogether. The beauty of the game-changing, gas-for-rubles, geoeconomic jujitsu applied by Moscow is its stark simplicity. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s presidential decree on new payment terms for energy products, predictably, was misunderstood by the collective west. The Russian government is not exactly demanding straightforward payment for gas in rubles. What Moscow wants is to be paid at Gazprombank in Russia, in its currency of choice, and not at a Gazprom account in any banking institution in western capitals. That’s the essence of less-is-more sophistication. Gazprombank will sell the foreign currency – dollars or euros – deposited by their customers on the Moscow Stock Exchange and credit it to different accounts in rubles within Gazprombank. What this means in practice is that foreign currency should be sent directly to Russia, and not accumulated in a foreign bank – where it can easily be held hostage, or frozen, for that matter.
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