G7 rejects Putin’s demand for rouble payment for Russian gas – Germany

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Debate on budget in Germany's Bundestag in Berlin

BERLIN – Energy ministers from the Group of Seven industrialized nations reject demands by President Vladimir Putin that “unfriendly” countries pay for Russian gas with roubles, Germany’s Robert Habeck said after talks with his counterparts on Monday.

“All G7 ministers have agreed that this is a unilateral and clear breach of existing contracts,” Habeck, who is German economy and climate protection minister, told reporters after a virtual conference with G7 energy ministers.

The ministers “underlined once again that the concluded contracts are valid and the companies should and must respect them … payment in roubles is unacceptable, and we call on the companies concerned not to comply with Putin’s demand,” he said.

“Putin’s attempt to divide us is obvious, but – as you can see from this great unity and determination – we will not be divided.”

(Reporting by Joseph Nasr and Paul Carrel)

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