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HomeWorldVladimir Putin says Russia isn't utilizing power as a weapon

Vladimir Putin says Russia isn’t utilizing power as a weapon

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

“Russia is not using any weapons,” Putin mentioned. “Even during the hardest parts of the Cold War, Russia regularly fulfilled its contractual obligations and supplied gas to Europe,” he added.

Russia final interrupted gasoline exports to the European Union in January 2009 after failing to agree costs and pipeline transit tariffs with Ukraine. It additionally decreased gasoline 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 power payments and Russia’s relations with the West plummeted over its annexation of Crimea. That menace by no means materialized.

Putin struck a extra conciliatory tone on Wednesday, saying that Russia was “prepared to discuss any additional steps” with European governments to sort out the worsening power disaster.

“Russia flawlessly fulfills its contractual obligations to our partners, including our partners in Europe,” he mentioned. “Moreover, we always strive to meet our partners halfway.”

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

Most EU nations depend on gas-fired energy stations to fulfill electrical energy demand, and about 40% of that gasoline comes from Russia, based on Eurostat.

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

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov informed journalists on Wednesday that Russia has elevated gasoline provides to Europe to the utmost doable degree underneath present contracts and can’t exceed these thresholds.

Russian officers have beforehand mentioned that rushing up the approval of the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline linking Russia with Germany might assist deliver down pure gasoline costs. The pipeline was accomplished final month regardless of years of opposition from nations together with the USA, 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 might 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 power disaster, together with rushing up the transition to renewable types of power.

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 firms and focused tax reductions.

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

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