Uniper, Germany’s main importer of Russian gas, said it will be possible to pay for future supplies without breaking European Union (EU) sanctions, even though Russia has demanded payments in rubles.

The Russian demand for gas payments in rubles has been a major headache for European customers, not least because of the opaque nature of the request and its potential to violate existing EU sanctions on Russia.

“Based on an initial and therefore not yet binding assessment, we continue to consider future compliant payment processing to be feasible,” Uniper said.

Uniper noted that it is essential that the German utility act in accordance with the sanctions law and indicated that it is in close contact with the German government.

The European Commission said last week that EU companies could get around Russia’s demand for ruble payments without breaching sanctions.

“Companies with contracts that stipulate payments in euros or dollars should not agree to Russian demands. This would be contrary to existing sanctions,” a Commission spokesman said.

Last month Uniper reiterated that it will not make new investments in Russia or enter into new long-term natural gas supply contracts.

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