FRANKFURT (Reuters) -Uniper, Germany's main importer of Russian gas, on Monday said it would be possible to pay for future supplies without breaching European Union sanctions even though Moscow has demanded payments in roubles.
Russia's demand for gas payments in roubles has been a major headache for European customers, mainly due to the opaque nature of the request and its potential to violate existing EU sanctions on Russia.
"According to an initial and therefore still non-binding assessment, we still consider a compliant future payment processing to be feasible," Uniper said in an e-mailed statement.
Uniper said it was essential for the German utility to act in accordance with sanctions law and that it was in close contact with the German government on the issue without providing more details.
The European Commission had said on Friday that EU companies might be able to work around Russia's demand for rouble payments without breaching sanctions.
Uniper last month said it will not make any new investments in Russia or enter into new long-term supply contracts for natural gas in the country but would continue to fulfill existing contracts.
(Reporting by Christoph Steitz, Writing by Miranda Murray, Editing by Rachel More and Jane Merriman)