Japan to ask firms not to pay for Russian gas in roubles

Move comes after Russia demanded ‘unfriendly’ countries make energy payments in roubles, instead of euros.

Russia demanded last week that “unfriendly” countries must pay in roubles, not euros, for its gas in the wake of the United States and European allies teaming up on a series of sanctions aimed at Russia.

Japanese Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki last week told a parliamentary session the government did not understand Moscow’s intentions or “how they would do this”.

Japan has imposed a raft of punitive measures on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, including sanctions targeting the deputy chiefs of staff for President Vladimir Putin’s administration, the head of the Chechen Republic, and executives of companies with close ties to the Kremlin.

Major Japanese brands including Toyota, Honda, Nintendo and Sony have halted exports to Russia, citing concerns about logistics, supply chains, and safety.

Japan, one of the United States’s closest Asian allies, has adopted a tougher line against Moscow than other countries in the region, most of which have declined to assign blame for the conflict. Apart from Japan, only South Korea, Singapore and the self-ruled island of Taiwan have announced sanctions against Moscow.


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