Explainer: Why does Russia now want payment in rubles?

For decades, Russia has been selling natural gas to countries in Europe.

Initially, those countries would pay Russia in their own currencies (Example: Germany using Deutschmarks).

In the modern era, those payments have been made in Euros.

This year, after Russia began its “special military operation” inside Ukraine, member countries of the European Union imposed economic sanctions against most Russian products, but left the door open for members to continue buying natural gas from Russia.