Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Europe right now does not have the possibility to substitute Russian gasand has accused the EU of destabilizing the market and driving up prices by discussing an embargo on Russian oil and gas.
“The so-called partners of unfriendly countries admit that they cannot do without energy resources, including natural gas. Simply, there is no reasonable replacement for Europe now“, he said at a meeting on the situation in the Russian hydrocarbons sector in which Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak participated.
The Russian president has admitted that the substitution “possible, but still missing” and “everyone knows that at the moment there are simply no free volumes” available that Europe could purchase as an alternative.
“And the supplies from other countries, first of all from the US, which can be sent to Europe, will be several times more expensive for consumers, will be reflected in the standard of living of the people and in the competitiveness of the European economy”, he predicted. The US already announced at the end of March that it will increase its gas exports to Europe by 68%, determined to reduce its energy dependence on Russia.
Expelling the Russian gas market will affect the world economy, according to Putin
“Despite the things that are obvious to everyone, European countries constantly talk about refusing Russian supplies, which further destabilizes the market and themselves, with their bare hands, inflate pricesmainly for its citizens”, he said in reference to the rise in inflation rates in Europe.
In Putin’s view, attempts by Western countries to drive Russian suppliers out of the market, to replace their energy resources with alternative supplies, “will inevitably affect the entire world economy“. He explained that the consequences could be “very painful, especially for those who promote this policy.”
Putin does not see an immediate threat to Russian hydrocarbon exports to the EU, which according to the head of community diplomacy, Josep Borrell, have brought Russia daily income of about 1,000 million euros since the beginning of the military actions against Ukraine .
As the president of the ECB pointed out this Thursday, Christine Lagarde, energy prices in Europe have risen sharply due to the Russian military campaign and are today 45% higher than a year ago and are the main cause of high inflation in the euro area, which in March shot up to 7.5%. In addition, Lagarde has admitted that “an abrupt boycott of Russian energy would have a significant impact on the euro zone.”
Diversify its exports and redirect them to markets in the South and East
In these circumstances, it has concluded that Russia must “diversify exports“. “We proceed from the assumption that in the near future supplies of energy resources in the western direction will decrease. That’s why it’s important strengthen the trend of recent years: step by step reorient our export to the markets of the south and the eastwhich grow rapidly”, he indicated.
For this, it is necessary to determine soon the installations of infrastructure keys and begin construction, Putin insisted. Likewise, he has considered it necessary to guarantee the stable supply of energy resources in the internal market.
“In conditions in which external markets are contracting, it is important to increase supplies to Russian consumers. And to stimulate domestic demand, it is necessary to reduce prices wherever possible,” he concluded.
Defends compliance with obligations by Russian companies
“Russian energy companies are responsible participants in the world marketwere established with more than a decade of work and strict compliance with their obligations”, he remarked.
According to the head of the Kremlin, who has demanded that unfriendly countries, including all of the EU, pay for russian gas in rubles“disruptions in payments for export supplies of Russian energy resources are observed.”
“The banks of those same unfriendly countries delay payment transfers,” he said, without giving a reason. In Putin’s view, the West is trying to “cover up their own miscalculations“with its green transition agenda and blaming everything on Russia.”
“Now there is a wonderful reason to cover up not only your own miscalculations and incompetence in the energy sector, but also in many other areas and blame everything on Russia,” he said. The Russian president has assured that the EU is now even ready to “ditch your green agenda and return to betting on energies with a high carbon footprint”.