Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during the plenary session of Russian Energy Week on October 4, 2017 in Moscow, Russia.
Mikhail Svetlov | Getty Images Europe | Getty Images
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that his country was not using weapons as a force against Europe and that Russia was ready to help as the energy crisis in the region continued.
“We are not using any weapons,” Putin told CNBC on Wednesday. “Even during the most difficult period of the Cold War, Russia regularly met its contractual obligations and supplied gas to Europe,” he said.
Putin called the allegations “politically motivated Blatter” and described “reports that Russia has cut off gas supplies to Europe” and “there is nothing to support it.” [the idea] That we use energy as a kind of weapon. “On the contrary, he said, Russia is expanding its supply to Europe.” “
Putin’s comments came as he was attending a panel hosted by CNBC’s Hadley Gamble on Russian Energy Week.
Speaking before the chief executive panel of ExxonMobil, BP, Total Energy and Mercedes-Benz, Putin said Europe “should not be blamed” for the energy crisis in the region and that European countries had not done enough to replenish their gas reserves in the summer.
“The high price of gas in Europe is not the result of energy shortages and vice versa, and that’s why we should not shift the blame, our partners are trying to do it,” he told delegates at the annual Russian Energy Week. The event in Moscow which is now in its 20th year.
“The European gas market does not seem to be balanced and predictable,” he said, adding that the main reason is that “everything in this market does not depend on producers, nor do gas consumers play a lesser role.”
Nevertheless, Russia has said it is ready to meet its contractual supply obligations and discuss additional measures and cooperation with its European partners.
The President presented his energy agenda for the Russian economy and experts were present to discuss politics, pipelines, investment and climate change, as well as global growth and security risks.
He said Europe was continuing to fight the natural gas crisis after weeks of rising prices and concerns ahead of the winter.
Last week, Putin proposed increasing gas supplies to the region, a move that helped stabilize prices. However, critics of the Kremlin have said that Russia deliberately under-supplied the market in order to create a crisis in order to highlight and highlight Europe’s dependence on its supplies, a claim Russia denies.
Putin added that the “hysteria” surrounding Europe’s energy market was driven by inadequate investment in the energy industry, arguing that the world needed a smooth transition to green energy technology.
Experts believe that Russia has restricted gas supplies to Europe in order to put pressure on Germany to speed up the certification of the now-completed Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which will increase gas supplies to Europe via the Baltic Sea.
The pipeline has several prominent critics, including the United States and Eastern European countries Poland and Ukraine, who say the pipeline increases Europe’s dependence on Russia’s energy supplies and weakens the region in terms of energy security.
According to the TASS news agency, the fast-moving Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday that Russia was supplying Europe with the maximum amount of gas under the existing agreement. He noted that Moscow was ready to increase gas transport through Ukraine if EU purchases increased.
According to the latest Eurostat data, Russia is the third largest producer of fossil fuels worldwide and accounts for only 40% of the EU’s gas imports each year.
Considering Russia’s position as one of the world’s major energy exporters, it has both strengths and weaknesses. Although Russia can (and does) use its resources to increase government revenue, the global transition from fossil fuels to green energy and technology means that it can meet the growing demand for its resources in the future.
Read more: The 5 charts show Russia’s economic ups and downs under Putin
Putin, who has been in power in Russia for more than 20 years, alternates between the roles of president and prime minister, leading himself in this larger global transition.
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