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EU’s energy crisis ‘is their problem’ – Putin

Moscow fulfills its gas export obligations, including transit through Ukraine, the president has insisted

Accusations that Russia has stopped natural gas supplies to the EU are “complete nonsense,” President Vladimir Putin stated on Thursday.

The decline in gas exports to the bloc which resulted in a protracted energy crisis is not the fault of Moscow, but of the countries that have decided to abandon Russian energy, Putin stressed.

Russia continues to deliver natural gas to Europe because Gazprom is a “reliable partner” and fulfills all of its obligations, including transit through Ukraine, the president said during his annual live TV press conference in Moscow.

“We also receive money, of course. Ukraine receives [payments] for transit, as if we didn’t supply Ukraine; in fact, they consume our gas,” Putin noted.

He dismissed claims from a number of Western politicians that Moscow cut gas supplies to Western Europe last year. “The fact that Europe does not receive enough gas is their problem. Oddly enough, they tried to blame it on us, that we weren’t selling or something.”

Speaking at a meeting of the ruling Social Democratic Party (SPD) in Berlin on Saturday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz accused Russia and Putin himself of halting gas deliveries to the EU.

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US ‘most likely’ blew up Nord Stream – Putin

“This is complete nonsense, because we didn’t close the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline – Poland did it; we didn’t close the second branch of the gas pipeline through the territory of Ukraine – Ukraine did it,” Putin said.

The Western sanctions on Moscow resulted in the halting of most imports of pipeline gas from Russia to the EU since last year. They further declined due to sabotage attacks on the Nord Stream gas pipelines, and the refusal of a number of EU member states to pay in rubles.

Regarding the rerouting of energy supplies to Asia, the president said that Russia has long planned to diversify its supplies and expand oil and gas exports to emerging markets, stressing that the country’s “turn to the East” was not politically motivated.

“The Power of Siberia gas pipeline was not built because of Ukraine, we started building it earlier. Why? Because we see the development trend of the world economy,” the president explained, adding that Russia has pivoted its exports of oil, gas, and coal to “new centers of economic growth” where major consumers have emerged in recent years.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

December 14, 2023 at 09:45PM

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