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Putin suggests Germany adopt Nord Stream 2 to resolve the energy crisis




The pipeline has also been controversial in American politics. Sen. Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, has blocked confirmation of dozens of Bidens diplomatic appointments, including more than 50 potential ambassadors, to insist the president do more to block European approval for Nord Stream 2.

Gas prices fleeing Europe this fall have played into Mr. Putin’s hands. Russia, the world’s largest exporter of natural gas, supplies about 40 percent of the gas imported to Europe, which is increasingly turning to natural gas to generate energy after coal plants are shut down. As European consumers pay more and more for electricity, their patience with the complexities of security policy in Eastern Europe may wane.

At the conference, called Russian Energy Week, Mr. Putin noted that utility bills and frustration were rising in Europe. Natural gas is crucial for electricity generation and he said electricity costs about 10 times more in European Union countries than in Russia.

Energy analysts and company executives say a number of factors have increased costs, including weather, the sudden acceleration of national economies following pandemic restrictions, and high prices in China that prompted U.S. liquefied natural gas producers to ship tankers to Asia rather than in Europe.

Responding to criticism that Russia is trying to manipulate natural gas markets to gain approval for Nord Stream 2, Mr. Putin denied any Russian role in raising prices. He blamed European Union policies that encourage alternative energy sources, such as wind and solar farms. Mr Putin also noted that US exporters of liquefied natural gas had increased shipments to China instead of boosting supplies to Europe.

Mr Putin said Russia had fulfilled all its contracts to send gas to Europe and had supplied more natural gas this year than last year. Russia, he said, is ready to send more if companies negotiate new deals with Gazprom.

We are increasing gas supplies to Europe, he said. And if you ask us to grow more, we will. We will grow as much as our partners demand.




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