Russia will reject U.S. dollars or euros and only accept rubles for its natural gas supplied to "unfriendly countries," including the European Union (EU) members and the United States, President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday.
Over the past few weeks, some Western countries have taken "illegitimate decisions" to freeze Russian assets, thus undermining the reliability of their currencies, Putin said at a meeting with government members via video link.
"It makes no sense for us to supply our goods to the EU, the United States and receive payments in dollars, euros and other currencies," he said.
Putin decided to implement a set of measures to transfer payments to rubles, starting with Russian natural gas in the shortest possible time.
He promised that Russia, nevertheless, will continue to supply gas in accordance with the volumes and prices in existing contracts.
"The changes will affect only the payment currency," Putin said. "I ask the government to issue a relevant directive to (Russian gas industry giant) Gazprom on amending existing contracts."
The president instructed the central bank and the government to determine the procedure for settlement in rubles within a week.