Austria's gas importer OMV to transfer euros to Russia for payment

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The logo of Austrian oil and gas group OMV is seen at a gas station in Vienna, Austria, October 30, 2018. Picture taken October 30, 2018. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader

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BERLIN, May 20 (Reuters) - Austrian energy group OMV (OMVV.VI) joins other European companies that transfer euro payments for Russian gas to Gazprombank (GZPRI.MM), it said on Friday, adding that it expects no problems through a conversion to roubles.

"We have now implemented a sanctions-compliant payment process that ensures gas deliveries can be paid in a timely manner," an OMV spokesperson told Reuters. "We consider our payment obligations fulfilled with the transfer of the euro amount."

The European Union's executive told member states this week they can keep buying Russian gas without breaching sanctions imposed on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine, EU officials said. read more

The Commission advised companies against opening a bank account in roubles at Gazprombank to do this, as requested by the Kremlin, but has not explicitly said doing so would breach sanctions in its formal written guidance to governments on the issue.

Germany's VNG (VNG.UL) came out first earlier this month, saying it would transfer euros to a Gazprombank account for rouble conversion, in a move aiming to continue to ensure supply. read more

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Reporting by Alexandra Schwarz-Goerlich, writing by Kirsti Knolle, Editing by Miranda Murray

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