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OMV, Gazprom in Initial Contact on Rouble Gas Payments

BERLIN, April 1 (Reuters) - OMV and Russia's Gazprom have had initial contact about paying for natural gas in roubles, a spokesperson for OMV said on Friday, as the Austrian energy firm's CEO stressed there was no basis for payment in any currency other than the euro.

OMV is still awaiting written information, the spokesperson said, echoing comments CEO Alfred Stern made in an interview with Die Presse.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is demanding foreign buyers pay for gas in roubles from Friday or risk having their supplies cut off. 

Stern told the newspaper that it was not feasible for Austria to halt Russian gas imports this year.

"The phase-out of Russian gas has its price. We must be aware of that," he said.

"We misjudged the risk," Stern said regarding the billions of euros which OMV has invested in Russia, calling it a "bad investment".

Reporting by Alexandra Schwarz-Goerlich; writing by Miranda Murray; editing by Paul Carrel and Jason Neely

Source: Reuters

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