Putin says Russia is not using energy as a weapon

October 13, 2021 at 15:49

London (CNN Business) President Vladimir Putin has rejected accusations that Russia is deliberately driving natural gas prices higher in Europe by withholding exports.
His comments came as EU officials said lower than anticipated supplies of Russian gas were partly to blame for Europe's energy crisis and pledged to accelerate the bloc's efforts to wean itself off fossil fuels.
Speaking at an energy conference in Moscow on Wednesday, Putin called the accusations "politically motivated" and without evidence.His comments came as EU officials said lower than anticipated supplies of Russian gas were partly to blame for Europe's energy crisis and pledged to accelerate the bloc's efforts to wean itself off fossil fuels.
"Russia is not using any weapons," Putin said.
"Even during the hardest parts of the Cold War, Russia regularly fulfilled its contractual obligations and supplied gas to Europe," he added.
Russia last interrupted gas exports to the European Union in January 2009 after failing to agree prices and pipeline transit tariffs with Ukraine.
It also reduced gas flows briefly to Ukraine in 2006 and 2008 as the result of pricing disputes.
State-owned Gazprom warned of a repeat of the 2009 crisis in 2014 after Ukraine failed to pay its energy bills and Russia's relations with the West plummeted over its annexation of Crimea.
That threat never materialized.
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