MOSCOW — President Vladimir Putin says Russia will start forcing “unfriendly countries” — including all European Union states — to pay for their natural gas supplies in rubles.

Putin’s March 23 statement comes as crippling international sanctions slapped on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine begin to hit hard, especially the local currency.

Putin said during his meeting with the government that Russia will implement the changes and stop accepting payments in currencies that have been “compromised” within one week. He did not say whether oil supplies would also be affected by the move.

The announcement means that European nations who have imposed sanctions on Russia, along with Britain, Canada, Japan, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the United States, will have to buy rubles with their euros or U.S. dollars at rates fixed by Russia’s central bank to pay for the natural gas delivered from Russia. The move would bolster the ruble by raising demand for it.

Last week, Putin signed a decree allowing Russian banks sanctioned by the West to carry out their obligations with regard to foreign currency deposits in rubles at the current exchange rate until September 1.

Russia’s close ally, Kazakhstan, has already said it will use Russian rubles for the payment of customs fees in bilateral trade.