Putin on gas crisis: Europe is on the move

Russia can supply natural gas to Europe, and Europeans are also blamed for the shortage of themselves. Russian President Putin said that at an energy conference in Moscow.

Putin dismissed allegations that Russia uses gas as a geopolitical weapon:

Figures show that Russian gas exports have never been so low in the last five years. Critics say Moscow deliberately limits deliveries in order to get quick approval for the commissioning of the new and contentious Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which runs through the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany.

The president said that the country has always fulfilled its contractual obligations to supply gas to Europe, even during the Cold War. In fact, Russia is currently supplying more gas than it would initially do, according to Putin.

Putin did not leave to refer to Nord Stream 2, says correspondent Geert Groot Koerkamp. “He said that if the new Nord Stream 2 pipeline were to function fully, Russia could supply more than enough gas. That suggests that he is stepping up the pressure on Nord Stream 2 commissioning. Putin basically says: the ball is with you.”

Less fossil energy

The Russian president said that the debt of high gas prices in Europe should not be pushed off. He pointed out, among other things, the lower energy yield from wind farms and the reduction of fossil energy sources in Europe.

A Kremlin spokesman said earlier today that the Russian state gas group Gazprom is already providing maximum gas to Europe. If more needs to be delivered, he believes that it will have to be renegotiated.

Putin made his statements during a panel discussion moderated by the US business news channel CNBC. He also made statements on other issues. He addressed the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Dmitri Muratov, a critical Russian journalist.

The president said that critical journalism is quite possible in Russia. He named the Moscow radio station Echo, which is funded by Gazprom.

Putin did not congratulate Muratov, noted correspondent Groot Koerkamp. “When asked if Muratovs newspaper would be called “foreign agent,” Putin said that Muratov has nothing to fear. Provided he does not use the Nobel Prize as a shield and abides by the law.”