Putin says Russia is not using gas as a weapon, claims U.S. added to energy crisis

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech throughout a plenary session of the Russian Power Week Worldwide Discussion board in Moscow, Russia October 13, 2021.

Sergei Ilnitsky | Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin mentioned Wednesday that his nation shouldn’t be utilizing power as a weapon in opposition to Europe and that Russia stands prepared to assist the area as its energy crisis continues.

“We aren’t utilizing any weapons,” Putin instructed CNBC in Moscow on Wednesday, in line with a translation. “Even through the hardest components of the Chilly Warfare Russia commonly has fulfilled its contractual obligations and provides fuel to Europe,” he mentioned.

Describing reviews that Russia has withheld fuel provides to Europe, Putin referred to as such accusations as “politically-motivated blather” and there was “nothing to assist it [the idea] that we use power as a type of weapon.” Quite the opposite, he mentioned, Russia was “increasing its provides to Europe.”

Putin’s feedback got here as he participated in a panel moderated by CNBC’s Hadley Gamble on the Russian Power Week. Talking forward of the panel, which incorporates the CEOs of ExxonMobil, BP, TotalEnergies and Mercedez-Benz, Putin mentioned Europe ought to “not deal in blame-shifting” over the power disaster within the area and that European nations had not completed sufficient to replenish fuel reserves in the summertime.

“Larger fuel costs in Europe are a consequence of a deficit of power and never vice versa and that is why we must always not deal in blame shifting, that is what our companions are attempting to do,” he instructed delegates at Russian Energy Week, an annual occasion in Moscow which is now in its twentieth yr.

“The European fuel market doesn’t look to be well-balanced and predictable” he mentioned, with the principle cause being, he added “that not all the things on this market will depend on the producers, no lesser function is performed by the customers of fuel.”

‘Want requests’

Nonetheless, Russia mentioned it was prepared to fulfill its contractual provide obligations and to debate further actions and cooperation with its European companions, Putin mentioned, stating that Russia had already elevated its fuel provides to Europe by 15% to date this yr.

Putin laid the blame for Europe’s fuel shortages at its personal door, in addition to blaming a scarcity of renewable power era this summer time and decreased provides from different companions, together with the U.S.

“You see the issue doesn’t consist in us, it consists within the European facet, as a result of, first, we all know that the wind farms didn’t work throughout summer time due to the climate, everybody is aware of that. Furthermore, the Europeans didn’t pump sufficient fuel into their underground fuel services … and the provides to Europe have decreased from different areas of the world.”

“So we have now elevated our provides however others, together with the U.S., have decreased their provides and that is the reason for the panic.” Russia can provide extra, he mentioned, “however we want requests to do this.”

Russian power week is thought to be the place the president lays out his power agenda for the Russian financial system and options specialists discussing politics, pipelines, funding and local weather change in addition to dangers to international development and safety.

His feedback come as Europe continues to grapple with a pure fuel disaster following weeks of rising costs and issues forward of the winter season.

Undersupplied the market?

Final week, Putin provided to extend fuel provides to the area, a transfer that helped to stabilize costs. Nonetheless, critics of the Kremlin mentioned that Russia had purposefully undersupplied the market with the intention to manufacture the disaster with the intention to intensify and spotlight Europe’s dependence on its provides, an accusation Russia denies.

Specialists consider Russia has been proscribing fuel provides to Europe in an try to put strain on Germany to hurry up the certification of the now-completed Nord Stream 2 fuel pipeline, which is able to enhance fuel provides to Europe through the Baltic Sea.

The pipeline has various outstanding critics, together with the U.S. in addition to jap European nations Poland and Ukraine, who say the pipeline will increase Europe’s dependence on Russian power provides and weakens the area by way of power safety.

Quick ahead to right now, and Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov mentioned on Wednesday that Russia was supplying fuel to Europe at most ranges below current contracts, according to the TASS news agency. He famous that Moscow was prepared to extend fuel transit by Ukraine if the EU elevated its purchases.

Russia is the third largest producer of fossil fuels globally and it accounts for simply over 40% of the EU’s fuel imports yearly, in line with the most recent information from Eurostat.

Given Russia’s place as one of many world’s predominant power exporters, it’s able of each energy and weak spot. Whereas Russia can (and does) use its sources to bolster authorities revenues, the worldwide transition away from fossil fuels to greener energies and applied sciences implies that it might discover more and more smaller demand for its sources in future.

Putin, who has been in energy in Russia for over 20 years, alternating between the function of president and prime minister, finds himself on the helm amid this wider international transition.

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