President Vladimir Putin stated that the argument that Russia uses energy as a weapon is absurd. During Wednesday’s speech at the energy forum, he also added that the imbalance in the energy markets may mean that we may soon pay 100 dollars for a barrel of oil. The Russian president also spoke about the increase in gas prices.
Putin stressed that the turmoil in the oil markets or the sharp rise in oil prices was not in Russia’s interest. However, as AFP comments, Putin rejects all responsibility for the record-breaking gas price increases, and at the same time “keeps his hand on the tap” with the raw material, wanting to force Europe to re-enter into long-term contracts with his country.
Vladimir Putin on gas prices
The president assessed that the increase in gas prices is related to the shortage of energy reserves in Europe, but Moscow is ready to start talks on taking steps to balance energy markets.
He added that the rise in gas prices in Asia has led to an outflow of gas from Europe, and the gas market is neither sustainable nor predictable, yet Russia is meeting its contractual obligations to supply it.
According to Putin, European countries are to blame for the jump in gas prices, as they diversify their gas supply contracts, instead of relying on long-term contracts with Russia as they used to be.
Putin: Russia does not use energy as a weapon
In support of his thesis that Moscow is not using energy resources as a weapon, Putin said that Russia supplied Europe with more raw materials while other producers were reducing supplies, and is now ready to increase exports according to demand.
However, European partners estimate that the Kremlin is taking advantage of the fact that there has been a gas shortage and has not consciously increased its gas exports right away to put pressure on Europe, comments AFP.
Russian president on oil prices
Putin said he has not spoken to US President Joe Biden about the oil markets, but has “working relations” with his American counterpart and hopes that relations between Moscow and Washington will gradually improve.
He also announced that Russia will build a second gas pipeline to China, running through Mongolia.
The president also announced that Russia will become a neutral country in terms of greenhouse gas emissions by 2060.
At the same time, he said that Ukraine’s further exports of gas after 2024, when the current contract expires, is an open question of an economic nature. He added that it is difficult to make promises regarding transit through Ukraine, as Europe aspires to reduce the consumption of energy derived from fossil fuels.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / SERGEI ILNITSKY