SAMARKAND: President Vladimir Putin denied Friday that Russia was to blame for the energy crisis in Europe, saying that if the EU needed more gas, it could withdraw the sanctions blocking the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from opening.
Putin blamed the energy problem on what he dubbed “the green agenda” in a press conference following the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Uzbekistan. He also emphasized that Russia would fulfill its energy commitments.
The final line is, just click the button to waive the sanctions on Nord Stream 2, which will produce 55 billion cubic meters of gas a year, if you have the desire or if it’s too difficult for you.
Nord Stream 2, which is virtually parallel to Nord Stream 1 in the Baltic Sea bed, was constructed a year ago, but Germany decided against moving through with it just a few days before Russia moved soldiers into Ukraine on February 24.
In response to a reduction in Russian supplies, European gas prices have more than doubled since the beginning of the year.
This year’s price hike has exacerbated household hardships and led to the output suspension of some industries.
Europe has charged Russia with converting energy supplies into weapons in response to Western sanctions upon Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine. According to Russia, sanctions have made it more difficult to operate the Nord Stream 1 pipeline and the West has started an economic war.