Putin says Russia is just not utilizing fuel as a weapon, stands prepared to help Europe

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Russian President Vladimir Putin talks through the plenary session of Russian Power Week on October 4, 2017 in Moscow, Russia.

Mikhail Svetlov | Getty Photographs Europe | Getty Photographs

Russian President Vladimir Putin mentioned Wednesday that his nation is just not utilizing vitality as a weapon in opposition to Europe and that Russia stands prepared to assist the area as its vitality disaster continues.

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

Describing studies that Russia has withheld fuel provides to Europe, Putin referred to as such accusations as “politically-motivated blather” and there was “nothing to help it [the idea] that we use vitality as a sort 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 at 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 vitality disaster within the area and that European nations had not finished sufficient to replenish fuel reserves in the summertime.

“Larger fuel costs in Europe are a consequence of a deficit of vitality 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 12 months.

“The European fuel market doesn’t look to be well-balanced and predictable” he mentioned, with the primary cause being, he added “that not every little thing on this market depends upon the producers, no lesser position is performed by the shoppers of fuel.”

Nonetheless, Russia mentioned it was prepared to satisfy its contractual provide obligations and to debate extra actions and cooperation with its European companions, Putin mentioned.

The occasion is understood to be the place the president lays out his vitality agenda for the Russian economic system and options specialists discussing politics, pipelines, funding and local weather change in addition to dangers to world progress and safety.

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

Fuel supply

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

Putin additionally mentioned the “hysteria” engulfing European vitality markets had been pushed by inadequate funding in vitality industries, arguing that the world wants a smoother transition to inexperienced vitality applied sciences.

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

The pipeline has a lot of distinguished 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 vitality provides and weakens the area when it comes to vitality safety.

Quick ahead to right this moment, and Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov mentioned on Wednesday that Russia was supplying fuel to Europe at most ranges beneath current contracts, according to the TASS news agency. He famous that Moscow was prepared to extend fuel transit by way of 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 newest information from Eurostat.

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

Learn extra: 5 charts show Russia’s economic highs and lows under Putin

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

This can be a breaking information story, please examine again later for extra.

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