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Putin denies Russia withholds natural gas to pressure Europe


Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed that the country has complied with established natural gas supply contracts and rejected the accusations.

Europe pushes to transition to renewable energy 1:03

(CNN Business) -

President Vladimir Putin has rejected allegations that Russia is deliberately driving up natural gas prices in Europe by withholding exports.

At an energy conference in Moscow on Wednesday, Putin called the accusations "politically motivated" and unfounded.

His comments came at a time when European Union officials claimed that Russia's lower-than-anticipated gas supply was partially responsible for Europe's energy crisis and pledged to accelerate the bloc's efforts to move away from use. of fossil fuels.

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"Russia is not using any weapons," Putin said.

"Even during the harshest moments of the Cold War, Russia regularly fulfilled its contractual obligations and supplied gas to Europe," he added.

The last time that Russia interrupted gas exports to the European Union was in January 2009, after failing to agree prices and transit rates for gas pipelines with Ukraine.

It also briefly reduced gas flows to Ukraine in 2006 and 2008 as a result of price disputes.

The state-owned company Gazprom warned of the possibility of a repeat of the 2009 crisis in 2014, after Ukraine failed to pay its energy bills and Russia's relations with the West collapsed over the annexation of Crimea.

That threat never materialized.

Putin adopted a more conciliatory tone on Wednesday, saying Russia was "ready to discuss any further steps" with European governments to deal with the worsening energy crisis.

"Russia flawlessly fulfills its contractual obligations to our partners, including our partners in Europe," he said.

"Also, we always strive to come to terms with our partners."


Wholesale electricity prices in Europe have increased by 200% compared to the 2019 average, according to the European Commission.

The rebound is the result of rising natural gas costs, driven by increased demand in Asia and lower-than-expected deliveries from Russia.

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Most European Union countries rely on gas-fired power plants to meet electricity demand, and around 40% of that gas comes from Russia, according to Eurostat.

Last month, the International Energy Agency called on Russia to supply more natural gas to Europe to help cope with the crisis, stating that, although Russia is meeting its contractual obligations to its European customers, exports are below its 2019 level.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday that Russia increased gas supplies to Europe to the highest level possible under existing contracts and that it cannot exceed those thresholds.

Russian officials previously claimed that speeding up approval of the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline linking Russia with Germany could help drive down natural gas prices.

The pipeline was completed last month despite years of opposition from countries like the United States, which warned it would boost Moscow's influence in Europe.

  • Russia advocates early certification of Nord Stream 2 pipeline to alleviate energy crisis

The Biden government announced in July that it had reached an agreement with Berlin that would allow the pipeline to go ahead in exchange for German aid to Ukraine.

It is now awaiting approval from the German authorities.

The European Commission unveiled on Wednesday a series of measures to tackle the energy crisis, including accelerating the transition to renewable energy.

EU Member States have put in place a series of emergency measures to help consumers and businesses cope with electricity costs, which have been at a very high level for a decade, and include financial support direct to households, state aid to companies and specific tax credits.

Amy Cassidy, Chris Liakos, Walé Azeez and Katharina Krebs contributed to this report.

Natural gas Russia

Source: cnnespanol

All news articles on 2021-10-14

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