President Putin’s full remarks at the oil for ruble announcement
04/05/2022 // News Editors // Views

Today I have signed an Executive Order that establishes the rules for trade in Russian natural gas with so-called unfriendly states. We offer counterparties from such countries a clear and transparent scheme. To purchase Russian natural gas, they must open ruble accounts in Russian banks. It is from these accounts that payment will be made for gas delivered starting tomorrow, from April 1 of this year. If such payments are not made, we will consider it a failure to fulfill obligations on the part of buyers – with all the ensuing consequences. No one sells anything to us for free, and we’re not going to do charity either. That is, existing contracts will be stopped.

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I would like to stress once again that in a situation where the financial system of Western countries is used as a weapon, when companies from these states refuse to fulfill contracts with Russian banks, enterprises, individuals, when assets in dollars and euros are frozen, it makes no sense to use the currencies of these countries.

In fact, what’s going on, what’s already happened? We supplied European consumers with our resources, in this case gas, and they received it, paid us in euros, which they then froze themselves. In this regard, there is every reason to believe that we have supplied part of the gas supplied to Europe virtually free of charge.

This, of course, cannot continue. Moreover, in the case of further gas supplies and their payment under the traditional scheme, new financial revenues in euros or dollars can also be blocked. Such a development of the situation is quite expected, especially since some politicians in the West talk about it, speak publicly. Moreover, it is in this vein that the heads of government of the EU countries speak. The risks of the current state of affairs are, of course, unacceptable for us.


And if you look at the issue as a whole, the transfer of payments for the supply of Russian gas to Russian rubles is an important step towards strengthening our financial and economic sovereignty. We will continue to consistently and systematically move in this direction within the framework of the long-term plan, to increase the share of settlements in foreign trade in the national currency and the currencies of those countries that act as reliable partners.

By the way, you have probably heard that many traditional suppliers of energy resources to the world market are also talking about diversifying settlement currencies.

Let me repeat once again: Russia values its business reputation. We comply with and will continue to comply with our obligations under all contracts, including gas contracts, and we will continue to supply gas in the established volumes, I want to emphasise this, and at the prices specified in the existing long-term contracts.

I emphasize that these prices are several times lower than the current quotes on the spot market. What does that mean? Simply put, Russian gas is cheaper energy, heat, light in the homes of Europeans, an affordable cost of fertilizers for European farmers, and therefore, food in the end. Finally, this is the competitiveness of European enterprises, and hence the salaries of Europeans, citizens of European countries.

However, judging by the statements of some politicians, they are ready to neglect the interests of their citizens, if only to please their overseas master, the suzerain. Some kind of populism inside out: people are encouraged to eat less, dress warmer to save on heating, refuse to travel – and all this supposedly for the benefit of those people from whom these voluntary deprivations are demanded for the sake of abstract North Atlantic solidarity.

Such dubious approaches and actions in economic, energy, food policy on the part of Western countries have been observed for more than a year.

By the way, the food crisis will be followed by another inevitable, another wave of migration, including primarily to European countries.

Nevertheless, step by step, decisions are being made that push the world economy to a crisis, lead to the severance of production and logistics ties, lead to an increase in global inflation and increased inequality, to a decrease in the well-being of millions of people, and in the poorest countries – I have already said this – to the tragedy of mass starvation.

Naturally, the question arises: who is responsible for this? Who will be responsible for this?

It is clear that the United States will again try to solve its problems – namely its own problems – at someone else’s expense, including launching a new wave of emissions and budget deficits. It has already grown exorbitantly, and in the leading European economies the record is broken by inflation, and in the United States. And at the same time, they are trying to blame their mistakes in economic policy on us, they are always looking for someone to blame. It’s pretty obvious, we’re seeing it.

I would like to add that the United States will try to capitalize on the current global instability, as it did during the First and Second World Wars, during its aggressions against Yugoslavia, Iraq, Syria and so on. Global markets are falling, and the value of shares of companies of the American military-industrial complex is only growing. Capital is flowing into the U.S., depriving other regions of the world of development resources.

As a result, Europeans are not only forced to fork out, but also, in fact, with their own hands to undermine the competitiveness of European companies, to remove them from the global market. For Europe, this means large-scale de-industrialization and the loss of millions of jobs, and against the background of rising prices for food, gasoline, electricity, housing and communal services, there is also a radical decline in the standard of living of citizens.

This is the price that the ruling Western elites offer to pay to people, as I have already said, for their ambitions and short-sighted actions both in politics and in the economy, including for the economic war that they are trying to unleash against Russia, or, one might say, have already unleashed.

It didn’t start now, it didn’t start in the last month. Illegitimate sanctions and restrictions have been imposed against our country constantly, for many years. Their goal is to restrain Russia’s development, undermine our sovereignty, and weaken our potential in production, in finance, in technology.

Let me repeat that all these sanctions were prepared in advance, they would have been introduced 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 the fact that we do not want to dance to someone else’s tune, to sacrifice our national interests and traditional values.

The collective West is not going to abandon the policy of economic pressure on Russia. Moreover, of course, he will look for new reasons for sanctions, namely pretexts. Therefore, it is not worth counting on changing these approaches, at least in the near future.

In this regard, I would like to ask the Government, the Bank of Russia and the regions to ensure that the sanctions pressure on our country, as it was in previous decades, will continue when organising systematic work to develop the economy and its individual sectors. That is the objective reality.

What do I consider important to note here and I ask you to draw the attention of all colleagues to this? Considering the situation in each specific industry, sphere, it is necessary to focus not only on overcoming the challenges of the current year, but also to build long-term development plans based on the internal capabilities of our economy, Russian science and education system. We must rely primarily on private business initiative and healthy competition, strive to maximize the load of our enterprises, create new competencies and increase Russia’s global competitiveness as a whole.

At the same time, the key indicators of the effectiveness of economic policy for us should be the preservation and creation of jobs, the reduction of poverty and inequality, improving the quality of people’s lives, the availability of goods and services. It is with these requirements in mind that we discussed the situation in the construction and housing sector last week.

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