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Executive order on special procedure to allow foreign buyers to meet their commitments to Russian natural gas suppliers

March 31, 2022

Vladimir Putin signed the Executive Order On the Special Procedure to Allow Foreign Buyers to Meet their Commitments to Russian Natural Gas Suppliers.

This Executive Order supplements measures included in executive orders of the President of the Russian Federation No. 79 of February 28, 2022, On Special Economic Measures in Connection with the Unfriendly Actions by the United States and the Foreign States and International Organisations that Joined Them; No. 81 of March 1, 2022, On Additional Temporary Economic Measures to Ensure the Financial Stability of the Russian Federation; No. 95 of March 5, 2022, On Temporary Procedures for Meeting Obligations to Certain Foreign Creditors; and No. 126 of March 18, 2022, On Additional Temporary Economic Measures to Ensure the Financial Stability of the Russian Federation in currency regulation.

This Executive Order states, in part, that as of April 1, 2022, natural gas transactions executed after April 1, 2022, that include resident companies taking part in foreign economic activities that have exclusive rights to export natural gas shall be made in rubles under the foreign trade contracts with foreign entities if these natural gas supplies are sent to foreign states that commit unfriendly actions as regards the Russian Federation and Russian legal and physical entities. The same procedure applies to contracts for natural gas supplies signed with foreign entities and registered in the above foreign states.

Under the Executive Order, Gazprombank, which is the authorised bank for the purposes of said Executive Order, shall open, based on an application by a foreign buyer, special K type ruble accounts and special K type currency accounts for natural gas transactions.

The Executive Order establishes the rules for opening and using these accounts. Thus, under the Executive Order, a foreign buyer transfers the foreign currency specified in a contract on natural gas supplies to a special K type currency account. Based on the foreign buyer’s instruction, the authorised bank sells the foreign currency transferred by the foreign buyer to this account at a trade session organised by the Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange (MICEX) – RTS and credits the proceeds in rubles to the K type ruble account for the foreign buyer; it then transfers the proceeds, in rubles, to the ruble account opened by the Russian supplier in the authorised bank.

The Government Commission on Monitoring Foreign Investment in the Russian Federation is authorised to issue permits allowing foreign buyers to meet their commitments on natural gas purchases without following the procedures established in this Executive Order.

The Central Bank Board of Directors is authorised to determine the procedures for selling foreign currency, other than that in the current Executive Order, as well as to establish the procedure for K type special ruble accounts and K type special currency accounts.

A number of related instructions were given to the Government of the Russian Federation, the Board of Directors of the Central Bank and the Federal Customs Service.

March 31, 2022