Uniper has made first payment for Russian gas under new scheme

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Uniper, Germany’s largest importer of Russian gas, has made the first payment for Russian gas under a new scheme proposed by Moscow, in a bid to ensure continued supply of the fuel that is critical to Europe’s top economy.

Like other German and European companies, Uniper has changed the payment method for gas deliveries from Russia. “Uniper pays in euros in accordance with the new payment mechanism,” Uniper said in e-mailed comments.

“The first of these payments was made at the end of May. Uniper is therefore acting in compliance with sanctions and can continue to ensure timely fulfilment of the contract.”

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Russia’s payment scheme, which involves setting up accounts that would be paid in euros and then swapped for rubles, has exposed cracks in Europe’s united response toward the Ukraine conflict, with some countries refusing to pay and others finding ways to comply.

Germany greatly depends on Russian gas, which accounted for more than half of all imports of the fuel last year. Uniper last month said that the first payment under the new guidelines would be due at the end of May, leaving open the exact date.

Uniper, which is seeking to sell its Russian subsidiary Unipro, said the process has been coordinated with the German government and follows the EU guidelines.

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