Azerbaijan excludes payment for Russian gas in rubles

SOCAR, the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan, denied information about Baku's plans to pay for Russian gas in rubles. Since July 2021, Russia and Azerbaijan have signed an agreement on the seasonal exchange of natural gas ” alt=”Azerbaijan excluded payment for Russian gas in rubles” />

Azerbaijan will not pay for gas imported from Russia in rubles. It is reported by “Interfax-Azerbaijan” quoting SOCAR, Azerbaijan's state oil company.

“Information was circulated in the media on Monday [April 25] that the Republic of Azerbaijan would pay in rubles the cost of gas imported from Russia. This information does not reflect reality,»— told the agency in the company.

Earlier on April 25, Denis Gonchar, director of the fourth department of the CIS countries of the Russian Foreign Ministry, said that Russia was actively switching to settlements in national currencies with Armenia and Azerbaijan. According to him, about 30% of trade with Baku is in rubles. However, he did not mention that Azerbaijan would pay for gas in rubles.

In July 2021, Gazprom and “Azercontract” signed an agreement on the seasonal exchange of natural gas. The agreement is valid until 2023.

The agreement provides for the supply of gas from Azerbaijan to Russia in the summer season and similar volumes of gas from Russia to Azerbaijan in the winter season. The volume of supplies depends on the level of gas production and consumption in Azerbaijan in the summer months.

The technical implementation of the agreement in terms of receiving and sending gas from the Azerbaijani side is performed by SOCAR.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed to transfer payments for gas into rubles for unfriendly countries on March 23. This list includes Australia, Great Britain, countries— members of the European Union, Iceland, Canada, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Singapore, USA, Taiwan (China), Ukraine, Montenegro, Switzerland, Japan. Azerbaijan is not included in the list.

The new gas payment scheme came into effect on 1 April. However, in mid-April, Putin announced that there were failures in paying for Russian oil and gas supplies to unfriendly countries.

Some EU countries reported that they did not intend to pay for gas in rubles. According to French President Emmanuel Macron, this requirement violates contracts. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said the same thing.

Other countries admitted that they would buy Russian gas for rubles. For example, in Hungary, they reported that the proposed payment scheme through Gazprombank would not violate sanctions, since European buyers would pay in euros, and the Russian bank would convert funds into rubles and transfer them to Gazprom.

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