Russia can easily redirect exports of its vast energy resources away from the West to countries that really need them, while increasing domestic energy consumption, President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday.
“When it comes to Russian oil, gas and coal, we will be able to increase their consumption on the domestic market and stimulate the deep processing of raw materials,” Putin said speaking at a meeting on the development of the Russian Arctic.
“We will also increase the supply of energy resources to other regions of the world where they are really needed,” he added.
The statement comes amid the latest ban on Russian oil imports imposed by the US, Canada, Britain and Australia in response to Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine. The ban on energy imports was part of broader anti-Russian sanctions that are aimed at cutting the country’s economy off from the global trade and financial system.
Putin attributed the current energy crunch in Europe to the refusal by countries to “cooperate with Russia normally, thus, hitting millions of Europeans.”
“Of course we are also facing problems but this opens up new opportunities,” he said.
Putin added that “hostile countries” had destroyed supply chains in Russia’s Arctic regions and some nations were not fulfilling their contractual obligations, creating issues for Moscow.
On Wednesday, Russian Energy Minister Nikolai Shulginov said Moscow was ready to sell oil and oil products to “friendly nations” as traditional importers are shunning Russian energy supplies, forcing the country to reduce crude production.
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