Prepoved plačevanja plina v rubljih: Kako po evropsko ne kršiti sankcij, ne da bi jih spoštovali

Še ena tipična EU zgodba: najprej skočijo, nato rečejo hop in šele v zraku razmišljajo, zakaj sploh in kam skačejo, po doskoku pa zatrjujejo, da sploh niso skakali, ampak zgolj simulirali situacijo, če bi bilo treba skočiti. Ali nekaj takega. Odvisno od domišljije. Torej glede prepovedi plačevanja nafte in in plina v rubljih naj bi bila po zadnjih domislicah v Evropski komisiji situacija naslednja:

  • plačevanje nafte in in plina v rubljih pomeni kršitev sankcij proti Rusiji (ni čisto jasno, zakaj bi to sploh pomenilo kršitev sankcjj, ampak menda zato, ker naj bi to menda pomenilo kršitev sklenjenih pogodb, kjer zneski niso bili določeni v rubljih, ampak v evrih ali drugi valuti);
  • vendar če uvozniki vseeno plačajo v rubljih, ne bodo kršili sprejetih sankcij, če dajo jasno izjavo, da menijo, da so svoje obveznosti izpolnili, ko prek svojega računa plačajo v evrih ali dolarjih, v skladu z obstoječimi pogodbami,
  • pri čemer te smernice podjetjem ne preprečujejo, da odprejo račun pri Gazprombank, preko katerega bodo plačale nakup plina v skladu s sankcijami EU.

Dejansko pa se plačila za uvožene energente iz Rusije po Putinovem dekretu plačujejo na  naslednji način: uvoznik odpre račun pri Gazprombank v Švici (ki ni uvedla tovrstnih sankcij proti Rusiji niti proti ruskim bankam), na katerem sta podračuna v evrih in rubljih, na evrski račun nakaže kupnino v evrih, nakar se prek ruskega nacionalnega klirinškega centra to nakazilo konvertira v rublje, ki jih potem uvoznik prek podračuna v rubljih pri Gazprombank nakaže ruskemu prodajalcu energentov.

Če povzamem, plačevanje energentov v rubljih (ali katerikoli drugi valuti) ne pomeni kršitve pogodbe med prodajalcem in kupcem energentov, saj se lahko pogodbeni stranki z aneksom zavežeta, da se plačilo, določeno v evrih, izvrši v katerikoli valuti po konverziji po določenem tečaju, in ne pomeni kršitve sankcij (saj sankcije ne prepovedujejo uvoza plina in nafte iz Rusije). Podjetja že sedaj de facto plačujejo za ruske energente v evrih prek Gazprombank v Švici in jim je malo mar, ali se ta denar naprej nakaže v evrih, dolarjih, rubljih ali katerikoli drugi valuti. Nove smernice pa pravijo, da tak uveljavljen način plačevanja za uvožene energente ne pomeni kršitve sankcij, če uvozniki podajo izjavo, da menijo, da so svoje obveznosti izpolnili, ko so plačilo na svoj račun pri Gazprombank opravili v evrih ali dolarjih.

Še en pravni nonsense iz Bruslja. Več podrobnosti v Bloombergu:

The European Union is set to offer its gas importers a solution to avoid a breach of sanctions when buying fuel from Russia and still effectively satisfy President Vladimir Putin’s demands over payment in rubles.

In new guidance on gas payments, the European Commission plans to say that companies should make a clear statement that they consider their obligations fulfilled once they pay in euros or dollars, in line with existing contracts, according to people familiar with the matter. The EU’s executive arm told the governments that the guidance does not prevent companies from opening an account at Gazprombank and will allow them to purchase gas in accordance with EU sanctions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the people added.

Initially, the EU had assessed that the payment mechanism demanded by Putin handed Moscow total control of the process, breached contracts and — crucially — violated the bloc’s sanctions.

On Friday, the commission told member states in a closed-door meeting that the updated guidance will clarify that companies can open an account in euros or dollars at Gazprombank as ordered by the Kremlin…

But the EU’s executive arm stopped short of saying whether also having an account in rubles — a step included in the Russian decree — was in line with EU regulations. Previously, officials had indicated, though never in writing, that opening such an account would breach sanctions. The updated guidance, as presented to member states, fails to address this specific point, the people said. 

Another key point in the guidance is that once European companies make a payment in euros or dollars and declare their obligation complete, no further action should be required of them from the Russian side in regard to the payment.

Putin’s demands to pay in rubles have divided EU member states, highlighting the dependence of some nations on Russian imports. Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said earlier this week European companies will be able to pay for gas in rubles without breaching sanctions.

At the Friday meeting, government representatives were split too, according to one of the people. While Germany, Hungary, Italy and France broadly endorsed the commission’s plan, Poland said it failed to offer legal clarity and called for the matter to be discussed by EU ambassadors. Others were confused by the lack of specific guidance on opening accounts in rubles. 

Germany said at the meeting that it consulted its companies on the proposal and got positive feedback, the person added. It also sought to fine-tune the recommendations by clarifying that EU sanctions don’t prohibit opening multiple accounts at Gazprombank.

The commission declined to comment on the revised guidance. 

Putin’s decree called for companies to open two accounts with Gazprombank — one in euros and one in rubles — and stipulated that gas payments aren’t settled until euros are converted into rubles.

Russia clarified its decree earlier this month, stating that payments received in foreign currency would be exchanged to rubles via accounts with Russia’s National Clearing Center, and Gazprom provided buyers with additional assurances that the central bank would not be involved in the conversion process.

Vir: Bloomberg

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