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October 03, 2018 @ 21:15 +03:00
Global energy bosses assembled in Moscow on Wednesday said the world needed Russian gas to keep the lights on, in a clear message to U.S. President Donald Trump who has warned he may impose sanctions on Russian gas export projects.
Trump’s administration, citing what it calls Russia’s failure to act as a good global citizen, has said it may take steps to block the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which will increase the volumes Russia can export to northern Europe.
The U.S. position has prompted a backlash from the Kremlin, and from business groups in Germany, and on Wednesday leading figures in the global energy industry attending a forum in the Russian capital joined the chorus.
While not explicitly singling out Trump’s policies for criticism, they said Russian gas was a vital part of the energy mix and that liquefied natural gas, touted by Washington as a viable alternative, was too expensive.
Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.AS) CEO Ben van Beurden said if the U.S. imposes sanctions on export projects, his company will have no choice but to abide by those restrictions. But he added: “It’s clear that Europe will need more imports, indigenous production in Europe is in decline, we will need to import in Europe from multiplicity of sources.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin told the forum that Russian gas exports to the EU would this year reach a record level of 200 billion cubic meters. He said that LNG imports from the United States were 30 percent more expensive than Russian gas, and that the German economy would be rendered uncompetitive if it had to rely on the U.S. imports. Referring to the U.S. President’s warnings of sanctions, Putin said: “I understand Donald, he’s fighting for his country’s interests, for his industry, and he’s right to do that.”