Putin: Russia Ready to Supply More Gas to Europe
Russia stands ready to supply Europe with as much natural gas as it needs and is already ramping up supplies. Russian President Vladimir Putin said this at an energy conference in Moscow. He indicated that he wanted to talk to the European Union about stabilizing the gas market.
Putin also reiterated that Russia is fulfilling all its contractual obligations regarding gas supplies to Europe. However, due to the high demand and limited supply, the gas price in Europe has risen to a record high. Putin says it is a “difficult situation” in the gas market. According to him, it is unbalanced and unpredictable, especially in Europe. Therefore, the Russian president believes that agreements should be made to stabilize the market in the long term.
Furthermore, Putin said that Russia is not using gas as a “weapon” to influence Europe. Critics accuse Moscow, among other things, of deliberately limiting gas supplies to Europe in order to quickly obtain approval for the commissioning of the new and controversial gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 that runs through the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany. But according to Putin, these kinds of claims are “nonsense”. According to him, the former Soviet Union also supplied gas to Europe during the Cold War when relations between them were very bad.
The Russian president went on to say that there are “systemic flaws” in the European energy market, such as over-reliance on renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power. The European energy crisis was partly caused by a lower yield of energy from wind farms. At the same time, European investments in fossil energy sources were scaled back, which, according to Putin, has now led to shortages.
The Kremlin spokesman said earlier in the day that gas supplies from the Russian state gas group Gazprom to Europe are at a maximum level under current contracts. So if Europe wants to buy more gas from Gazprom, new contracts will have to be signed, says spokesman Dmitri Peskov.