Russia wins gas tussle but hardens Europe's resolve

Russia has retaliated to sanctions by demanding that its customers pay for their gas in roubles. PHOTO: REUTERS
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LONDON - Russia has claimed victory in its battle against Western economic sanctions by announcing that almost half of its big European customers have complied with Russian demands to open special bank accounts with banks in Moscow if they wish to continue receiving natural gas.

"Some big companies already opened accounts, paid (gas bills) and are ready to pay on time," Russia's deputy prime minister Alexander Novak has claimed. "In the next couple of days, we will see a final list of who's paid in roubles and who's refused," he added.

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