Putin: Terror Attacks Against Nord Stream Seek to Undermine Energy Security of Continent
10:52 GMT 12.10.2022 (Updated: 21:19 GMT 19.10.2022)
Moscow previously opened an investigation into the pipeline sabotage, while Denmark and Sweden noted that they intend not to include Russia in their probe.
Russian President Vladimir Putin stated on Wednesday that terror attacks on the Nord Stream pipeline system
sought to cut off cheap energy sources from the continent, undermining European energy security.
"And who is behind the sabotage at Nord Stream? Obviously, those who seek to finally break the ties between Russia and the European Union: those who want to finally undermine and finish off the political sovereignty of Europe, weaken its industrial potential, take over the market," Putin stressed at the Russian Energy Week forum.
The president said that the energy crisis was caused by western policies, not by the start of the Russian special op in Ukraine.
"The fuel and energy complex are going through, frankly, an acute crisis associated with unstable price dynamics of energy resources, an imbalance in supply and demand, as well as clearly subversive actions of individual market participants who are guided solely by their own geopolitical ambitions," he said, adding that competitors are "forcing" Europeans to buy energy for higher prices.
According to Putin, the spot pricing model, which was pushed by the EU, will bring the bloc $300 billion in losses.
"According to expert estimates, in the current year alone, the spot gas pricing mechanism will bring losses to Europe in the amount of more than 300 billion euros, or about 2% of eurozone GDP. This could have been avoided if long-term oil-pegged contracts had been used," Putin said.
At the same time, the European Union is exacerbating the crisis by imposing a price cap on oil.
On September 26, the Nord Stream pipeline network was sabotaged, resulting in a rapid pressure drop and leakage under the Baltic Sea. The operator, Nord Stream AG, said that it was impossible to estimate a timeframe for repairing the project and resuming deliveries.
Moscow has been investigating the pipeline incidents as acts of international terrorism, while European Union officials also said that the gas link was sabotaged. Russia hinted that the US and Britain are to blame
for the attack.
The president stated that one of the Nord Stream threads is believed to function, so Russia is ready to deliver extra gas to Europe during the fall and winter. Putin stressed, however, that the "ball is in the EU court" with the bloc needing to react.
He noted that the Nord Stream system may be repaired
, however, such repair work would only make sense if its future security were to be guaranteed.
At the same time, the president stated that part of the transit route lost due to the sabotage may be directed to Europe via the Black Sea, as Russia can create a large gas hub in Turkey, if the EU is interested.
However, according to him, Moscow won't be delivering resources if the price is capped.
"Russia will not act contrary to common sense, paying for someone else's well-being at its own expense. We will not supply energy resources to those countries that will restrict the prices," he stressed.
Russia on the Global Market
Vladimir Putin also addressed the OPEC + decision to cut global oil output by two million barrels per day (bpd), saying that western countries are trying to blame the group for their own mistakes which resulted in the crisis.
"As you know, some agreements within the framework of this group were reached quite recently. They take into account, first of all, the dynamics of supply and demand for oil, as well as long-term programs of the oil industry, which, as I have already said, are objectively underfunded," he stated.
He stressed that the decision is aimed at balancing the global energy market situation.
At the same time, the president stated that Moscow has no intentions to back down from the market, despite the sanctions and recent terror attacks against the energy infrastructure.