Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened, on Wednesday September 7, to cease all delivery of hydrocarbons in the event of a price cap, while denying himself to use energy as a “weapon” in the face of Europe, which fears shortages.
Last week, the G7 countries indicated that they wanted to implement “urgently” a capping of the price of Russian oil, encouraging a “broad coalition” countries to take part, in retaliation for the offensive in Ukraine.
At an economic forum in Vladivostok (Russian Far East) on Wednesday, Vladimir Putin wanted to be clear: Russia will no longer deliver oil or gas to countries that cap the price of hydrocarbons sold by Moscow. Capping Russian hydrocarbon prices would be “an absolutely stupid decision”, ” nonsense “launched Mr. Putin.
“If European countries want to give up their competitive advantages, it’s up to them to decide”, he warned. But “We won’t deliver anything at all if it’s against our interests, in this case economic ones. Neither gas, nor oil, nor coal (…). Nothing “he added, the tone firm. “We will not supply anything outside the framework of the contracts” signed with importing countries, said Mr. Putin again in front of several Russian and Asian economic leaders, castigating “those who try to dictate their own will to us”.
“Give us a turbine and we will revive Nord Stream”
It is in this context of arm wrestling that Russia announced last week the closing of the valves of the Nord Stream gas pipeline, which serves Germany and several European countries, citing technical reasons. According to the Russian giant Gazprom, this prolonged interruption is due to the need to repair a gas pipeline turbine. This decision reinforced the fears of European countries of a total cut off of Russian gas to the continent at the approach of winter and against a background of galloping inflation of energy prices.
On Wednesday, Mr Putin called on European countries to “come back to reason”, at a time when voices are rising in the West to accuse Russia of using its gas as a means of pressure in the context of the conflict in Ukraine. Accusations brushed aside by the Russian president: “They say Russia uses energy as a weapon. Another nonsense! »he launched.
Moscow defends itself in particular by arguing that the sanctions against it for its offensive in Ukraine have caused a shortage of spare parts which threatens the integrity of Nord Stream. “Give us a turbine and tomorrow we will restart Nord Stream”launched Mr Poutine to the address of the Europeans. ” We’re ready to [reprendre les exportations] tomorrow. All you have to do is press a button »he said, recalling that it was not Russia that had “imposed penalties”.
Turkey accuses Westerners of ‘provocation’
According to the Russian president, EU countries, faced with soaring energy prices, “have several solutions: either subsidize (these) high prices, (…) or reduce consumption”. “From an economic point of view, it is correct. But from a social point of view, it is dangerous. This can cause an explosion”he warned. “It is better to respect contractual obligations, civilized rules”Putin argued. “It is impossible to harm ‘objective’ economic laws. Otherwise it will come back to you like a boomerang. »
Western countries are guilty of ” provocation “ towards Russia, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday in Belgrade. “I can say very openly that I don’t find the current attitude of the West (…) to be the right one. The West pursues a policy based on provocation”said the Turkish head of state during a press conference with his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vucic, in response to a question about the energy crisis in Europe. “As long as you try to wage such a provocative war, you will not be able to achieve the desired results”he added.