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Ex Gazprombank Executive Found Dead In Alleged Murder-Suicide

A former vice president at Russian bank Gazprombank—the bank at the center of Russia’s rubles-for-gas payment scheme—has killed his wife and daughter before killing himself in their Moscow apartment, police in Moscow say, according to Russian media.

Vladislav Avayev, 51, also a former Kremlin official, shot his wife and 13-year-old daughter before shooting himself, according to police, who concluded that the incident was a murder-suicide.

The bodies were found by the 26-year-old daughter of the couple, Daily Mail reported on Tuesday. The bodies were found with gunshot wounds while Vladislav Avayev—a multi-millionaire—had a gun in his hand, according to Moscow police.

Some media reports suggest that Avayev and his wife were fighting a lawsuit over their younger daughter, while other reports say that the murder-suicide could have been committed out of jealousy after Avayev found that his wife was cheating on him and was reportedly pregnant with another man’s child.

At one point in his career, Avayev worked as a vice president at major Russian bank Gazprombank, although it is not immediately clear whether he continued to keep ties with the bank.

Gazprombank is the bank that Russian President Vladimir Putin designated to handle the ruble-for-gas payments.

Last month, Putin said that “unfriendly” nations should pay in rubles for natural gas.

Russia had set a March 31 deadline for the countries it considers “hostile”—including the United States, all EU member states, Switzerland, Canada, Norway, South Korea, Japan, and many others—to start paying in rubles for natural gas.

The EU has rejected Putin’s demands for payments in rubles, while Russia did not immediately cut off the gas supply to Europe after April 1, partly because it is dependent on revenues from gas and partly because payments for gas delivered after April 1 are not due until later this month or early May.  

The Kremlin has signaled the gas-for-rubles demand is just the beginning of a switch to the Russian currency for Russian exports.

Some of Russia’s natural gas customers have agreed to pay in rubles for Russian gas, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said last week, without naming the countries specifically.  

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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