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Italy’s ENI opens rubles bank account for Russian gas payments

Baku, May 18, AZERTAC

Italy’s energy company, ENI, said Tuesday it opened two bank accounts in Russia’s Gazprom Bank -- one in euros and the other rubles -- to keep paying for Russian gas deliveries, according to Anadolu Agency.

ENI, which is controlled by the Italian state, said it informed the government of the decision, insisting it was in “compliance with the current international sanctions framework”.

But since, a compromise solution emerged, whereby EU energy companies would nominally keep paying in euros via Gazprom Bank, but then allow the money to be moved to another bank account and converted to rubles.

“The new procedure should be neutral in terms of both cost and risk, and not incompatible with the existing sanctions. The payment obligation can be fulfilled with the transfer of euros,” ENI said in a statement.

Italy is one of the biggest buyers of Russian gas in Europe. Last year, Gazprom covered about 40% of its domestic consumption.

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