Russia Used Energy As 'Weapon' In Foreign Policy In Past, Hopefully Not Case Now- Blinken

Russia Used Energy as 'Weapon' in Foreign Policy in Past, Hopefully Not Case Now- Blinken

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 07th October, 2021) US State Secretary Antony Blinken said that while Russia in the past used energy as a "weapon" in its foreign policy, he hopes the current shortage of gas supply is not a result of machinations from Moscow.

"Well, Russia has in the past used energy as a tool, or some would say a weapon, of its foreign policy. I hope that's not what we're going to see going forward, especially as we get to the winter. But again, I think you'll see countries working together, coordinating, cooperating to deal with any energy problems," Blinken told Bloomberg when asked whether Russia was playing a game by not sending more gas.

When asked if the US can do anything about weaning Europe off Russian gas, Blinken replied that a process of diversifying takes time, yet it takes "consistent effort and determination."

"And it's diversification both, to some extent, within existing types of energy but, especially, it's transition to renewables and away from fossil fuel.

These are long-term efforts, long-term projects, but I think this just reinforces the need to really, if you'll forgive the expression, energize those efforts," he said.

Natural gas prices have been surging on the European market over the past few months, spurred by growing energy demand amid an economic recovery after months of lockdowns, as well as a limited supply. On Wednesday, the price of gas futures in Europe broke a new record, exceeding $1,900 per 1,000 cubic meters, although it went down several hours later.

On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin tasked Energy Minister Nikolay Shulginov with controlling the gas supply commitments. Gas is transported to Europe through the territory of Ukraine, under current agreements. Putin stressed that terms of the contract must be respected even though energy giant Gazprom's leadership said that it would be more profitable to ramp up gas supplies to Europe through new pipeline systems and to pay a fine to Kiev.