Vladimir Putin says Russia will not be utilizing vitality as a weapon

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Talking at an energy convention in Moscow on Wednesday, Putin known as the accusations “politically motivated” and with out proof. His feedback got here as EU officers stated decrease than anticipated provides of Russian fuel have been partly accountable for Europe’s vitality disaster and pledged to speed up the bloc’s efforts to wean itself off fossil fuels.

“Russia will not be utilizing any weapons,” Putin stated. “Even through the hardest elements of the Chilly Conflict, Russia often fulfilled its contractual obligations and equipped fuel to Europe,” he added.

Russia final interrupted fuel exports to the European Union in January 2009 after failing to agree costs and pipeline transit tariffs with Ukraine. It additionally lowered fuel flows briefly to Ukraine in 2006 and 2008 as the results of pricing disputes.

State-owned Gazprom warned of a repeat of the 2009 disaster in 2014 after Ukraine did not pay its vitality payments and Russia’s relations with the West plummeted over its annexation of Crimea. That risk by no means materialized.

Putin struck a extra conciliatory tone on Wednesday, saying that Russia was “ready to debate any extra steps” with European governments to deal with the worsening vitality disaster.

“Russia flawlessly fulfills its contractual obligations to our companions, together with our companions in Europe,” he stated. “Furthermore, we all the time attempt to fulfill our companions midway.”

Wholesale electrical energy costs in Europe have elevated by 200% in comparison with the 2019 common, in response to the European Fee. The surge is the results of hovering pure fuel prices, pushed by excessive demand in Asia and lower-than anticipated deliveries from Russia.

Most EU international locations depend on gas-fired energy stations to fulfill electrical energy demand, and about 40% of that fuel comes from Russia, in response to Eurostat.

Final month, the Worldwide Vitality Company known as on Russia to provide extra pure fuel to Europe to assist alleviate the disaster, saying that though Russia is assembly contractual obligations to European clients, exports are down from their 2019 degree.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov advised journalists on Wednesday that Russia has elevated fuel provides to Europe to the utmost attainable degree beneath present contracts and can’t exceed these thresholds.

Russia says Berlin could ease natural gas crisis by approving Nord Stream 2

Russian officers have beforehand stated that dashing up the approval of the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline linking Russia with Germany might assist carry down pure fuel costs. The pipeline was accomplished final month regardless of years of opposition from international locations together with the US, which warned that it will increase Moscow’s affect in Europe.

The Biden administration introduced in July that it had reached a take care of Berlin that will permit the pipeline to go forward in trade for German help to Ukraine. It’s now awaiting clearance from German authorities.

The European Fee on Wednesday unveiled a sequence of measures geared toward tackling the vitality disaster, together with dashing up the transition to renewable types of vitality.

EU member states have put in place a sequence of emergency measures to assist shoppers and companies address the decade-high electrical energy prices, together with direct monetary help to households, state support for corporations and focused tax reductions.

— Amy Cassidy, Chris Liakos, Walé Azeez and Katharina Krebs contributed reporting.

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