European countries have been thrown into disarray after Russian president said "unfriendly countries" who buy Russia's gas will now have to pay in rubles.

Iran PressEurope: "Russia will continue, of course, to supply natural gas in accordance with volumes and prices ... The changes will only affect the currency of payment, which will be changed to Russian rubles," Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday at a televised meeting with top government ministers.

European countries buy some 40 percent of their total gas consumption from Russia, Xinhua reported.

Since the European Union (EU) announced sanctions on Russia in response to its special military operation against Ukraine in February, gas trade between the two sides has been thrown into spotlight with daily trade volume fluctuating.

The European Commission has not commented on the new Russian move, but Germany's Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck said on Wednesday that he would discuss with European partners a possible answer to the Moscow announcement.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Wednesday that more time was needed to clarify Russia's demand.

Questions have also been raised on whether the Russian move will breach trade rules.

Countries who have imposed sanctions on Russia appear on the list of "unfriendly" countries, which include the United States, the EU member states, Britain, Japan, Canada, Norway and Singapore.


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