Putin’s threatens to let Europe ‘freeze’ raising energy rationing risk

“We will not supply gas, oil, coal, heating oil — we will not supply anything,” Putin mentioned.

Sergei Karpukhin | Afp | Getty Images

Europe was already dealing with a tough and unpredictable winter when it got here to its energy provides because it seems to be to section out all Russian imports.

But Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday once more threatened to utterly cease all provides, a transfer which he hinted would depart Europe to “freeze.”

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Russia has already halted fuel provides to the area citing technical points on the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, leaving the area susceptible because it tries to replenish energy storage forward of the colder months.

Responding to EU proposals to implement worth caps on Russian energy imports, Putin advised enterprise leaders in Vladivostok that Russia may but determine to rip up current provide contracts.

“Will there be any political decisions that contradict the contracts? Yes, we just won’t fulfill them. We will not supply anything at all if it contradicts our interests,” Putin mentioned on the Eastern Economic Forum in Russia’s far east.

“We will not supply gas, oil, coal, heating oil — we will not supply anything,” Putin mentioned.

“We would only have one thing left to do: as in the famous Russian fairy tale, we would let the wolf’s tail freeze,” he mentioned.

Russian newspaper Pravda describes the story as involving a crafty fox who made a silly wolf catch fish within the frozen river by placing his tail into an ice gap.

“The fox would hop around the desperate and hungry wolf saying “freeze, freeze, the wolf’s tail” until the ice hole froze trapping the wolf in the ice. Men from the village then came and beat the wolf for all the bad things that he had done to them in summer. The wolf struggled and escaped, but his tail was left in the frozen ice hole,” Pravda mentioned.

Energy rationing

Putin’s menace to halt all provides raises the risk of energy rationing in Europe this winter. The EU has already referred to as upon its members to voluntarily scale back their fuel consumption by 15% within the fall and winter however which may not be sufficient to allay the necessity for restrictions on fuel use.

Quite a few European governments have introduced measures to defend residents from rocketing energy payments. In the meantime, Western nations are attempting to put strain on Russia’s energy revenues, which they are saying are funding the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, by proposing worth caps on Russian oil and fuel.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday described the state of affairs dealing with Europe as “extraordinary … because Russia is an unreliable supplier and is manipulating our energy markets.”

She mentioned the Commission would put ahead rapid measures to assist shoppers, together with a compulsory goal for decreasing electrical energy use at peak hours, a cap on revenues of firms producing electrical energy with low prices, and different plans to share the burden of energy worth rises.

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“Low carbon energy sources are making unexpected revenues, which do not reflect their production costs. It is now time for consumers to benefit from the low costs of low carbon energy sources, like renewables,” von der Leyen mentioned in a press release, saying fossil gasoline firms also needs to contribute to easing pressures on shoppers.

“Oil and gas companies have also made massive profits. We will therefore propose a solidarity contribution for fossil fuel companies. Because all energy sources must help address this crisis.”

Von der Leyen mentioned energy utility firms have to be supported to deal with the volatility of the markets and proposed a cap on Russian fuel. “The objective here is very clear. We must cut Russia’s revenues which Putin uses to finance this atrocious war against Ukraine.”

At the start of the warfare, she famous that the EU imported round 40% of its fuel from Russia. It had lowered that degree down to 9% of its fuel imports, she mentioned.

EU energy ministers are set to meet on Friday to focus on the proposals outlined by the Commission.


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