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Slovak minister says Italy may have paid for gas in roubles

Italy may have already paid in roubles as Slovakia is experiencing higher transit volumes of gas, Slovak Economy Minister Richard Sulík (SaS) said following the meeting of EU energy ministers in Brussels on Monday.

“Since the volumes flowing through Slovakia have increased, we think that the Italians must have paid. It’s an assumption,” Sulík said.

He added that he would do everything in his power to keep Russian gas flowing, even pay in roubles. “I say yes to a unified EU approach, but there are more important things in this world if it starts to harm us massively,” Sulík said.

However, other government members have a different view of the situation.

Prime Minister Eduard Heger of the OĽaNO party and other government members still believe in a unified EU approach and distanced themselves from Sulík’s words.

“Slovakia will act in unison with the EU member states when buying gas from Russia,” Heger wrote in a Facebook status at the time of Sulík’s first statements.

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He added that Europe had started coordinating its position on gas payments at Slovakia’s request. Heger expects that if Slovakia does not break European unity, other member states will provide it with some gas if deliveries are put on halt.

Some commentators in Slovak media believe that by pointing fingers at Italy, Sulík is preparing the ground for payment in roubles.

Slovakia is the eleventh largest payer for Russian energy commodities. The next payment for gas is due on 20 May.

Source: Euractiv

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