Russia says 'short-sighted' EU has only itself to blame for energy crisis

The EU is to blame for the energy crisis, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on Saturday.

A global gas shortage has sent consumer bills skyrocketing across Europe, fueling inflation and allegations. last by Fatih Birol, head of the International Energy Agency, that Moscow is compounding the problem by holding back imports.

Novak said Russia has fulfilled its long-term contracts with the EU. And the crisis is “owed to the short-sighted policies of the European Union and the European Commission, which for many years have deliberately moved away from long-term contracts and shifted their energy sector through shifts towards reducing reliance on long-term contracts to recognize those.”

About 40 percent of Europe’s natural gas imports come from Russia, but this year flow to the block has fallen by about a quarter.

Novak said Russia has “huge resources” and could increase its supplies to Europe. But that would require stable contracts to encourage investment in production. “We shipped a lot more to Germany, Turkey and other countries that chose their volumes,” he said.

“Bad planning, short-term energy policies are giving European politicians a headache that they are trying to pass on to others,” he added. Novak spoke to Russian Public TV and the comments were reported by TASS.

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