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SAMARKAND, Uzbekistan, September 16 (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin on Friday denied that Russia had anything to do with Europe’s energy crisis, saying if the European Union wanted more gas it should lift the restrictions. sanctions preventing the opening of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.

Speaking to reporters after the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Uzbekistan, Putin blamed what he called the ‘green agenda’ for the energy crisis and insisted Russia would fulfill its obligations energy.

“At the end of the day, if you have a craving, if it’s that hard for you, just lift the sanctions on Nord Stream 2, which is 55 billion cubic meters of gas a year, just push the button and it’s all over. set in motion,” Putin said.

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Nord Stream 2, which sits on the bed of the Baltic Sea almost parallel to Nord Stream 1, was built a year ago but Germany decided not to pursue it just days before Russia sends its troops to Ukraine on February 24.

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a news conference following the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan September 16, 2022. Sputnik/Sergey Bobylev/Pool via REUTERS

Gas prices in Europe have more than doubled since the start of the year in a context of falling Russian supplies.

This year’s price spike has already put a strain on struggling consumers and forced some industries to shut down production.

Europe has accused Russia of militarizing energy supplies in retaliation for Western sanctions imposed on Moscow following its invasion of Ukraine. Russia says the West has launched an economic war and that sanctions have hampered operations of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline.

Russia cut gas supplies to several countries, including Bulgaria and Poland, because they refused to pay in rubles instead of the contract currency.

Russian gas giant Gazprom (GAZP.MM) also said earlier this month that the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, Europe’s main supply route, would remain closed because a turbine at a compressor station had a engine oil leak, causing gas prices to skyrocket. Read more

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Reuters reporting; Editing by Kevin Liffey/Guy Faulconbridge

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