Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed the government on Wednesday to transfer into rubles payments for Russia's energy resources coming from "unfriendly countries."
Speaking at a meeting with the government in Moscow, Putin said after the US and EU sanctioned the Russian state debt in dollars and euros, which in economic terms means they announced a default on their financial liabilities to Russia, there is no longer any reason to continue to use these currencies.
"It doesn't make sense to deliver our goods to the EU and US and receive payment in dollars and euros.
"I have decided in the shortest possible time to implement a set of measures to transfer payment – let's start with this – for our natural gas supplied to the so-called unfriendly countries into Russian (currency), into rubles," he said.
The president added that Russia continues and will continue to supply gas in line with volumes and prices under contract.
Initially this measure will be applied to countries listed by Russia as "unfriendly" according to a list the government issued in early March.
The Russia-Ukraine war, which began on Feb. 24, has met international outrage, with the EU, US, and UK, among others, implementing tough financial sanctions on Moscow.
At least 953 civilians have been killed during the war and 1,557 injured, according to UN estimates.
More than 3.5 million people have fled Ukraine to neighboring countries, with millions more displaced inside Ukraine, according to the UN refugee agency.