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America's ‘Golden Age’ can turn into energy colonialism for rest of the world – Rosneft boss

America's ‘Golden Age’ can turn into energy colonialism for rest of the world – Rosneft boss
Energy consumers are already hostage to US political games as Washington uses energy as a weapon, Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin said, rejecting US claims that Russia uses its natural resources to control others.

“America's ‘Golden Age’ can turn into the age of energy colonialism for other participants of the market,” the head of Russia's biggest oil company told the audience at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum on Thursday. “Should global energy consumers become hostage to non-stop election campaign in the US?” asked Sechin.

The Trump administration has repeatedly accused Moscow of using energy as leverage for pushing its interests, with the US president himself once calling Germany “a captive of Russia.” The allegations came amid Washington’s attempts to boost sales of its own LNG to Europe and pressure on overseas allies to ditch Russian supplies.

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The US has been attempting to block the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline from Russia to Europe, threatening European companies participating in the project with sanctions. However, the investors have not bowed to US pressure and European leaders have repeatedly stood for building the pipeline.

“The reality of the current situation is that the US vastly uses energy as a political weapon. The imposition of sanctions or the threat of their implementation has a devastating impact on the ecosystem of the global energy market,” Sechin said.

Natural gas, which will flow along the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, is important as countries are switching from sources of energy such as coal and oil, the World Energy Council’s Secretary General Christoph Frei explained to RT on the sidelines of the forum. He added that Europe is dependent on gas supplies, not only from Russia but from other importers, but Russian gas is more lucrative for the continent.

“Nord Stream 2 is a good project and it will remain so even if the political situation worsens,” Frei told RT.

The Rosneft boss noted that Washington slaps sanctions on those countries, whose budget revenues are highly dependent on the energy sector. This is clearly seen in the situation in Venezuela, which has been hit by several rounds of US punitive measures, including on the country’s key source of income, oil exports, among other measures. Washington imposed sanctions against Caracas while at the same time vocally supporting the overthrow of the Venezuelan government by backing self-proclaimed ‘interim-president’ Juan Guaido.

At the same time, the sanctions game has allowed the US administration to seize control over some Russian industry sectors, according to Sechin. He pointed out the situation with Russian aluminum major RUSAL as an example.

After the introduction of sanctions against the company, Washington had de facto control over the firm and subsequently overall Russian aluminum sector. And given that RUSAL has a big stake in Russian nickel company and world's largest producer of palladium, Nornickel, the US thus seized control over nickel, copper, platinum, palladium and other segments of the Russian industry, the Rosneft CEO explained.

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