Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that EU countries are committing “economic suicide” by refusing Russian energy resources amid a push to impose an oil embargo, but which has been thus far blocked by Russian energy-dependent Hungary and a handful of others.
As quoted in RIA Novosti, Putin described that the oil sector is busy undergoing a “tectonic shift” which will only be made worse by “ill-thought-out” sanctions by the West. The address was given virtually to an energy conference of the country’s industry heads.
“Changes in the oil market are tectonic in nature and doing business as usual, according to the old model, seems unlikely,” he said. “In the new conditions, it is important not only to extract oil, but also to build the entire vertical chain leading to the final consumer.”
He called out the current EU-US trajectory of seeking to inflict maximum punishment on Moscow as a strategy ensuring higher energy prices and higher inflation. That’s when he observed:
“Of course, such an economic suicide is a domestic affair of the European countries,” based on the AFP translation.
At the same time, Putin additionally pointed out, Europe’s “chaotic actions” would eventually serve to boost oil and gas revenues for Moscow, also as Russia diverts energy supplies to “friendly” countries. He urged Russian industry authorities to be more proactive in leveraging the situation for the nation’s benefit.
Putin described a scenario of Europe feeling the brunt of the crisis worst, according to state media:
“Rejection of Russian energy resources means that Europe will systemically become the region with the highest energy costs in the world. Yes, of course prices will rise and resources will go to this region, but it will not be possible to radically alter the situation. This will seriously – and according to some experts irrevocably – undermine the competitiveness of a significant part of European industry, which is already losing the competition to companies in other regions of the world,” Putin said, speaking at a meeting with officials devoted to energy issues on Tuesday.
He added that Western officials and populations had long been overconcerned with “climate issues” – betting too big on the effectiveness of alternative energy, in a theme the Russian president has stressed for years.
“One gets the impression that our Western colleagues, politicians and economists have simply forgotten the foundations of the elementary laws of economics, or, to their detriment, prefer to deliberately ignore them,” he said.
And in perhaps the most biting part of the speech where he took a swipe at Washington and its European allies, Putin mocked EU capitals which seem to take orders from their “American overlords”.
“Today we see that for absolutely political reasons, due to their own ambitions and under pressure from their American overlords, European countries are imposing more and more sanctions on the oil and gas market. All of this causes inflation, and instead of admitting their mistakes, they are looking for the guilty party in another place,” Putin said.