Europe’s Natural-Gas Buyers Defuse Standoff With Kremlin Over Ruble Payments

PARIS—Some of Europe’s biggest natural-gas utilities have agreed to new payment terms with Russia’s Gazprom, defusing the threat of a sharp cutoff of Russian gas to the region after President Vladimir Putin demanded payment in rubles.

The demand roiled Europe’s energy industry and prompted warnings from the European Union that paying for gas in rubles would run afoul of sanctions the bloc imposed in response to February’s invasion of Ukraine. Gazprom last month cut off supply to Poland and Bulgaria after the countries refused to comply with a Kremlin decree.

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