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Vladimir Putin says Russia is just not utilizing power as a weapon

Speaking 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 stated decrease than anticipated provides of Russian fuel have been partly guilty 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 stated. “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 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 didn’t pay its power 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 “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 stated. “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, in response to the European Commission. 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 satisfy electrical energy demand, and about 40% of that fuel comes from Russia, in response to Eurostat.

Last month, the International Energy Agency 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 stage.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov advised journalists on Wednesday that Russia has elevated fuel provides to Europe to the utmost attainable stage 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 rushing up the approval of the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline linking Russia with Germany may assist convey down pure fuel costs. The pipeline was accomplished final month regardless of years of opposition from international locations together with the United States, which warned that it could enhance Moscow’s affect in Europe.

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

The European Commission on Wednesday unveiled a collection 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 collection of emergency measures to assist customers 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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