B2B Payments

Gazprom Says Banks Are Slowing Payments

Russian gas giant Gazprom, the world’s largest supplier of natural gas, is speaking out against banks accused of delaying payment to the company owed by its buyers. According to Alexander Ivannikov, Gazprom’s head of the financial department, the delays stem from banks’ reluctance to work with Russian firms, despite Gazprom not being one of the businesses hit with sanctions by overseas officials.

“Many banks are behaving in an inadequate way,” Ivannikov said on Thursday (Oct. 22) at a forum, according to reports in Bloomberg. “Payment may be left hanging for 10 to 15 days or more.”

[bctt tweet=”‘Many banks are behaving in an inadequate way'”]

Gazprom does not fall under the umbrella of entities hit with sanctions from U.S. officials and other powers across the globe in response to recent action in Ukraine. The sanctions have placed limits on certain companies’ access to capital markets, reports said.

Bloomberg noted that similar accusations have been made before. Russian gas firm OAO Rosneft last month said it was facing slower payments from banks in China. VTB Bank First Deputy Chief Executive Officer Vasily Titov said only weeks ago that the slower payments are a result of “unnecessary scrutiny” against the Russian companies amid these sanctions.

Slower payments from China can be particularly painful to Russian businesses, as the two nations have recently upped their cross-border commerce efforts.

The political tensions stemming from Russia’s aggression toward Ukraine have caused headaches for businesses and their finances within Russia.

Earlier this year, VTB Chief Executive Andrei Kostin spoke out against threats that the country would be banned from the SWIFT banking payment system, decrying the situation as tantamount to “war.”

“If there is no SWIFT, there is no banking…relationship, it means that the countries are on the verge of war, or they are definitely in a cold war,” Kostin said in January, according to reports.


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