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Russia near utilizing pure fuel as weapon in Europe’s fuel crunch – Biden power adviser

WASHINGTON, Oct 25 (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden’s world power safety adviser mentioned on Monday that Russian President Vladimir Putin is getting near utilizing pure fuel as a political instrument if Russia is holding again gas exports to Europe because it suffers an power crunch.

“I think we are getting close to that line if Russia indeed has the gas to supply and it chooses not to, and it will only do so if Europe accedes to other demands that are completely unrelated,” Amos Hochstein, Biden’s adviser, advised reporters, when requested if Putin was utilizing fuel as a weapon.

Hochstein mentioned fuel costs in Europe have been pushed increased not simply by occasions within the area but additionally by a dry season in China that has decreased power output from hydropower and elevated world competitors for pure fuel.

Still, whereas a number of components have led to the European fuel disaster, Russia is greatest positioned to come back to assistance from Europe, he mentioned.

“There is no doubt in my mind, and the (International Energy Agency) has itself validated, that the only supplier that can really make a big difference for European energy security at the moment for this winter is Russia,” Hochstein mentioned. Russia can enhance upstream manufacturing of fuel, and may do it rapidly by present pipelines, he mentioned.

Putin has rejected recommendations that Moscow was squeezing provides for political motives, saying it would enhance stream as a lot as companions ask. learn extra

Putin has blamed document excessive costs on the EU’s power coverage and mentioned Russia can enhance provides to Europe as soon as its Nord Stream 2 fuel pipeline will get authorized. learn extra

Yuriy Vitrenko, the pinnacle of Ukraine’s state power firm Naftogaz, this month mentioned Russia was attempting to blackmail Europe into certifying its Nord Stream 2 fuel pipeline by retaining gas provides low. The pipeline, which Washington opposes as a result of it might circumvent Ukraine, is completed however wants approvals from Germany to start out delivering Russian fuel below the Baltic Sea to Europe.

Approvals from Germany and the European Commission for Nord Stream 2 will probably take till March, so if Russia says it might probably rapidly enhance fuel stream by Nord Stream 2, it ought to give you the chance to take action now by present pipelines, Hochstein mentioned.

“You can’t have it both ways,” Hochstein mentioned

Reporting by Timothy Gardner; Editing by Mark Porter

A general view of the liquefied natural gas plant operated by Sakhalin Energy at Prigorodnoye on the Pacific island of Sakhalin, Russia July 15, 2021. REUTERS/Vladimir Soldatkin