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  • AFP

Putin says ‘very important’ to ‘stabilise’ gas market

Russian President Vladimir Putin said today it was “very important” to stabilise the gas market, as Europe faces a gas crisis ahead of winter due to a surge in prices and a drop in reserves.

Speaking at an energy forum in Moscow, Putin said it was “very important” to “suggest a long-term mechanism to stabilise the energy market” in what he called a “difficult situation.”

He added that there were “systemic flaws” in the European energy market.

“Some try to pass their errors onto others,” the Russian leader said, in an apparent reference to critics in Europe blaming Moscow for the increase in gas prices.

Some in Europe have accused Moscow of intentionally not boosting supplies to put pressure on the continent, both to push for more long-term contracts and the certification of the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

The Baltic Sea pipeline — criticised by some Western countries as a geopolitical weapon — is set to double natural gas supplies from Russia to Germany.

“There is an opinion that high quotas play into the hands of raw material producers, but these people do not understand what they are talking about,” Putin said.

Russian officials have repeatedly said over recent weeks that suppliers are fulfilling obligations under Russia’s contracts with European buyers.

Demand on the continent is rallying as economies ramp up after the end of pandemic lockdowns and there are dips in supplies from renewables like wind.

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