MILAN/BERLIN: Following conversations with the European Union, Germany and Italy advised firms they could create rouble accounts to keep buying Russian gas without breaking sanctions, according to sources.

The argument over Russia’s insistence that international gas importers pay in roubles has put European countries’ commitment to adopt a firm stance against Moscow over the Ukraine conflict to the test.

Because Poland, Bulgaria, and Finland refused to comply with Moscow’s requirement that importers pay for gas through rouble accounts with Gazprombank, their supplies were turned off.

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