Russian President Vladimir Putin seems to be warming up to the idea that Russia can let Europe freeze this winter.
The European Union has suggested in recent hours that it would consider imposing price caps on Russian gas in an attempt to squeeze Putin further and limit the Kremlin’s ability to finance. war in Ukraine.
Putin, citing a Russian fairy tale in which a fox freezes its wolf’s tail, threatened on Wednesday that Russia could cut off energy supplies to Europe if European governments accept the gender restriction. price term.
“We will not provide anything outside of the contract. We will not do anything that they try to force us to do,” Putin said at the Eastern Economic Forum, according to Pravda. “The only thing we could do was keep saying the line from a famous Russian fairy tale ‘- Freeze, freeze, the wolf’s tail!'”
Putin refers to a Russian fable in which a sly fox and a wolf engage in a back-and-forth fight. Each person takes turns getting mad and playing other tricks. In the end, the fox let his rage take over, and tricked the wolf into freezing its tail through an ice hole in the river until the villagers came to defeat it.
The cruel remarks coincided with Russia’s use of energy as a way to try to win its way in Europe. Just a few days ago, Russia announced the shutdown of Moscow Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline flowing to Europe, due to some maintenance work. But when the pipeline was supposed to be operational again earlier this month, Russia said it would remain closed until the West lifted sanctions on Russia.
“Problems in pumping have arisen due to the sanctions imposed on our country and on a number of companies from Western countries, including Germany and the UK. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said there was no other reason that could have led to pump problems. Interfax.
The White House, European lawmakers and the European Council argue that Moscow is using energy as a weapon to try to ease sanctions despite Russia’s continued war in Ukraine.
“What we see Russia doing – we’ve been very clear about this – is they’re using energy, they’re weaponizing energy,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters. reporters on Tuesday.
Uncertainties over the coming winter could weigh on Europe, as prices are already high in Europe and are at risk of rising higher as the cold months approach, according to Rystad Energy.
“The price of spot electricity across Western Europe has risen to unparalleled levels,” said Rystad Energy. “Now, there is a risk of even higher prices during the winter months as Russia has halted all gas exports via Nord Stream 1 for an indefinite period.”
The European Commission leadership has acknowledged the risks at hand.
“We are facing an unusual situation, because Russia is an unreliable supplier and is manipulating our energy markets,” said Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission. know on Wednesday.
And although Russia is hanging energy resources over European countries as winter approaches in the hope that it will comply with Moscow’s demands and ease sanctions, European countries seem to prepared to develop alternatives.
“The goal here is very clear. We must cut the Russian revenue that Putin uses to fund the devastating war against Ukraine,” said von der Leyen.
European Union Energy Minister will meet this weekend to discuss priorities.
European Union members in recent weeks have also agreed to cut gas consumption by 15% from August this year to the end of March next year “in preparation for possible gas supply from Russia to be cut off.” discontinuity”.
Europe is also working to diversify its energy sources, including investing in renewable energy through RePowerEU. According to the European Commission, European countries have also increased their supply of LNG from the United States, Norway, Algeria and Azerbaijan. And meanwhile, Russian pipeline gas accounts for 40% of Europe’s gas imports, but has now fallen to just 9% of imports, according to von der Leyen.
However, Europeans could soon face a blackout to cut power, Rystad Energy warned.