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Putin’s Gas-for-Rubles Demand Spurs Confusion in Russia, Abroad


German gas buyers raise the alarm over Russia’s rouble demand

German utilities on Thursday said their country needed an early warning system to tackle gas shortages, a day after Russia ordered the switch of contract payments to roubles, raising the risk of a supply squeeze and even higher prices. President Vladimir Putin’s rouble payment demand, which IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol called a “security threat,” added to market nervousness and called into question Russia’s historic claim it is a reliable gas supplier regardless of geopolitics. Putin announced this demand on Wednesday, in the wake of the United States and European allies teaming up on a series of sanctions aimed at Russia after that nation’s invasion Ukraine last month.

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