The European Union should penalise countries that use roubles to pay for Russian gas, Poland’s climate minister said, following Moscow’s decision to cut off supplies to Poland and Bulgaria over their refusal to do so.
EU member states appear split on how they can keep paying for gas without breaching European sanctions imposed over Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine. Many nations in Europe remain heavily reliant on Russian energy imports.
Poland, one of the EU’s staunchest proponents of punitive sanctions against Moscow, says the bloc should ban purchases of Russian gas altogether.
“Today what is missing is full sanctions on gas, that would solve the problem with Gazprom, the problem with following sanctions 100%. We expect these sanctions,” Anna Moskwa told private broadcaster Polsat News late on Wednesday.
The main EU member states resisting tougher gas sanctions on Russia are Austria, Germany and Hungary, she added.
“We are counting on there being consequences for these countries (which pay in roubles) and that as a result they will cease paying in roubles.”
She did not specify what kind of consequences Poland wanted to see.
Russia’s new gas payments system, involving opening accounts at Gazprombank where payments in euros or dollars would be converted to roubles, offers wiggle room that could see some countries continue to buy Russian gas, fraying the bloc’s united front against Moscow. read more
German power utility Uniper (UN01.DE) told the newspaper Rheinische Post on Thursday that it would transfer payments for Russian gas to a Russian bank and no longer to a Europe-
Disney has told investors that attempts by the state of Florida to repeal the company’s ability to operate a private government in the state are unlawful, in a move that could thwart Florida’s retaliation against Disney’s opposition to a “don’t say gay” law.
Ron DeSantis, Florida’s governor, has pushed legislation that would eliminate the Disney-operated Reedy Creek Improvement district, a move which would have huge financial implications for the company.
The effort is widely seen as a response to Disney’s criticism of a new GOP law, which bars instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade.
On Wednesday, however, Disney said the move is not legal, because of an agreement that Reedy Creek must pay off its debts to the state before any changes are made.
In a statement posted to the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, Disney pointed to an agreement between Florida and the company when the Reedy Creek improvement district was created in 1967.
That legislation states that Florida “will not in any way impair the rights or remedies of the holders, and that it will not modify in any way the exemption from taxation provided in the Reedy Creek Act”, until bonds Disney owes Florida are paid.
CNN reported that Reedy Creek owes Florida $1bn in bond debt.
DeSantis, a Republican in the Donald Trump-mold who is seen as having presidential aspirations, has pushed the legislation to repeal Disney’s arrangement with Florida.
“If Disney wants to pick a fight, they chose the wrong guy,” DeSantis wrote in a campaign fundraising email on 20 April.
“As governor, I was elected to put the people of Florida first, and I will not allow a woke corporation based in California to run our state.”
Disney is one of Florida’s biggest private employers, and last year said it had more than 60,000 workers in the state. It is not immediately clear exactly how Disney or neighboring governments would be affected if the district was dissolved.
The creation of the Reedy Creek Improvement district, and the control it gave Disney over 27,000 acres (11,000 hectares) in Florida, was a crucial element in the company’s plans to build near Orlando in the 1960s.