Vladimir Putin threatened to cut off all oil and gas exports to the West in response to a proposal by Europe and America to cap the price of Russian energy.
“An attempt to limit prices by administrative means is just ravings, it’s sheer nonsense,” Putin said. “If they try to implement that dumb decision, it will entail nothing good for those who will make it.”
Russia is the world’s second-largest oil producer behind Saudi Arabia and the largest single producer of natural gas. A decision to stop exports to Europe — where the bulk of Russia’s pipelines lead — would throw the world energy markets into turmoil.
The threat comes after months of back and forth over the War in Ukraine. Russian energy giant Gazprom has throttled natural gas transit to Europe for months, citing alleged technical problems with the massive Nord Stream pipeline between Russia and Germany.
Last week, Gazprom announced it was shutting the pipeline down indefinitely.
While the bulk of Russia’s pipeline infrastructure feeds Europe, Gazprom opened a Siberian pipeline in 2019 that feeds gas to northern China — and work is underway to expand Russia’s Asian pipeline network.
Speaking on Russia’s Pacific coast, Putin said there would be enough demand in Asia to make up for lost European exports, should his threat come to pass.
“The demand is so high on global markets that we won’t have any problem selling it,” he said of Russian energy.