Putin says Russia is not using gas as a weapon, is ready to help Europe

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers speech at plenary meeting session of the Russian Energy Week International Forum in Moscow, Russia October 13, 2021.

Sergei Ilnitsky | Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that his country is not using energy as a weapon against Europe and that Russia is ready to help the region like it energy crisis continues.

“We are not using weapons,” Putin told CNBC in Moscow on Wednesday, according to a translation. “Even during the hardest parts of the Cold War Russia has regularly fulfilled its contractual obligations and supplies Europe with gas,” he said.

Putin described reports that Russia withheld gas supplies to Europe, calling such allegations “politically motivated blather” and “nothing was wrong”. support the [the idea] That we use energy as a species of weapon.” On the contrary, he said, Russia “expanded its supplies to Europe”.

Putin’s comments came as he participated in An panel moderated by CNBC’s Hadley Gamble during Russian Energy Week. speak ahead of the panel, including the CEOs of ExxonMobil, BP, TotalEnergies and Mercedez-Benz, Putin said Europe should “don’t deal” in shift blame” over the energy crisis in the region and die European countries had not done enough to replenish gas reserves in the summer.

“Higher gas prices in Europe are a consequence of a shortage of energy and not the other way around and that is why we have should don’t deal in shift blame, this is what our partners are trying to do,” he told delegates on Russian Energy Week, an annual event in Moscow that is now in it’s 20 year.

“The European gas” market doesn’t seem to be balanced and predictable,” he said, with the main reason be, he added “that’s not all” in this market depends on the producers, no less role is played by consumers of gas.”

‘Requests needed’

Nevertheless, Russia said it is ready to meet its contractual supply obligations and to discuss additional actions and cooperation. with its European partners, Putin said, declaring that Russia had already has made its gas deliveries to Europe so far met 15% increase this year.

Putin blamed for Europe’s own gas shortages, blaming a lack of sustainable energy generation this summer and reduced deliveries from other partners, including the US

“Do you see the problem does not exist in us, it exists in the European side, because, first, we know that the wind farms do not work in the summer because of the weather, everyone knows that. Moreover, the Europeans do not have enough gas in their underground gas installations … and supplies to Europe from other regions have decreased of the world.”

“So we’ve increased our inventories, but others, including the US, have reduced their stocks and this is the cause of the panic.” Russia can deliver morehe said, “but we… need requests to do so.”

It is known that the Russian energy week is the place where the president lies out his energy agenda for the Russian economy and features discuss experts politics, pipelines, investment and climate change, as well as risks to global growth and safety.

His comments come as Europe continues to struggle with a natural gas crisis next weeks of rising prices and worries in the future of the winter season.

undersupplied the market?

Last week, Putin offered to cut gas supplies to the region, An move that helped stabilize prices. However, critics of the Kremlin said Russia was deliberately understocked market in to create the crisis in to accentuate and emphasize the dependence on Europe on his supplies, an accusation die Russia denies.

Experts believe Russia has restricted gas supplies to Europe in an attempt to exert pressure on Germany to speed up the certification of the now completed Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, die will boost gas supply to Europe via the Baltic Sea.

The pipeline has a number of prominent critics, including US and Eastern European countries Poland and Ukraine, who say the pipeline increases dependence on Europe on Russian energy supply and weakens the region in terms of energy security.

Fast forward until today, and Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: on Wednesday that Russia supplied gas to Europe at maximum levels under existing contracts, according to the TASS news bureau. He noted that Moscow was ready to increase gas transit through Ukraine if the EU increased its purchases.

Russia is the third largest producer of fossil fuels worldwide and it takes into account met for just over 40% of EU gas imports every year, according to the latest data from Eurostat.

Given Russia’s position as one of the world’s main energy exporters, it is in a position of both strength and weakness. While Russia can (and does) use to strengthen its resources government income, the global transition from fossil fuels to greener energies and technologies means it can find smaller and smaller demand for his resources in future.

Read more: 5 charts show Russia’s Economic Highs and Lows Under Putin

putin, who has been in power in Russia for over 20 years, alternating the role of chairman and prime minister, stands at the helm amid this wider global transition.

Read More: World News

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