South Korea, like Japan, relies heavily on liquefied natural gas imports, including volumes from Russia, to meet its energy demand.

And like Japan, it has also been designated an “unfriendly country” by Moscow for endorsing financial and technical sanctions on Russia, which is demanding that such nations pay for their gas imports in rubles.

While South Korea currently pays for its Russian gas through a Japanese bank, it may become increasingly impractical to continue doing so if Moscow maintains its position, analysts say.