Putin tells Europe: You still need Russian gas, but we are turning to the East

Putin tells Europe: You still need Russian gas, but we are turning to the East

Russian President Vladimir Putin

(Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Moscow would work to redirect its energy exports to the East as Europe tried to reduce its dependence, adding that European countries would not be able to abandon the Russian gas immediately.

Russia supplies about 40% of the EU’s natural gas, and Western sanctions over what Moscow calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine have hit energy exports, complicating the financing and logistics of pre-existing deals.

As the EU debates whether to apply sanctions on Russian oil and gas, and countries in the bloc seek supplies elsewhere, the Kremlin has forged closer ties with China, the world’s biggest energy consumer, as well as other Asian countries.

“The so-called partners of hostile countries admit to themselves that they will not be able to do without Russia’s energy resources, including natural gas, for example,” Putin told a televised government meeting.

“There is no rational replacement for Russian gas in Europe today.”

Putin also said that Europe, by talking about Russia’s power cut, was pushing up prices and destabilizing the market.

The leader said Russia, which accounts for roughly a tenth of global oil production and about a fifth of gas, will need new infrastructure to boost energy supplies to Asia.


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