Ditching Russian oil will be ‘catastrophic’ for global markets, Moscow warns
Removing Russian oil from the market would make energy prices skyrocket to over $300 per barrel of oil, Russia’s deputy prime minister, Aleksandr Novak, said on Monday, adding that Russia is not dependent on the West and can “reroute” its supplies elsewhere.
The European officials are “once again seeking to put all the blame for their own recent energy policy shortfalls on Russia,” Novak told journalists, adding that “Russia has nothing to do with the current price hike on market volatility.”
Russia has been a “reliable partner” for Europe for many decades, Novak said, adding that Moscow has been supplying the European nations with roughly 40% of their gas needs. The deputy prime minister made his comments after gas prices in Europe hit record highs of almost $3,900 per 1,000 cubic meters while the price of Brent crude oil surpassed $130 per barrel for the first time in a decade.
The deputy prime minister also slammed Germany’s decision to freeze certification of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project and argued that Moscow has a “full right” to stop supplying gas via Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which has not been targeted by Western sanctions. Russia is not that dependent on the West and “knows where to reroute” its supplies if needed. Still, Moscow will not take reciprocal measures against Europe in this case, he added.
Earlier on Monday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz admitted that his nation would not be able to replace Russian gas supplies any time soon and expressed his opposition to any sanctions targeting Russia’s “essential” oil and gas industry. Following his statements, the gas price reduced to $2,700 per cubic meter.
Russia’s energy giant Gazprom has confirmed it will be sticking to its commitments under the contracts and deals with foreign customers and also said that it still uses Ukrainian gas transit system “as normal” despite a conflict between Moscow and Kiev.