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The Western world needs Russian gas, but Russia is leaning east

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Moscow would shift its energy exports to the East as Europe seeks to reduce its dependence on them. He added that European countries could not easily stop using Russian gas.

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Russia supplies about 40 percent of the EU’s natural gas. However, the attack on Ukraine has affected the supply of gas to Europe due to US sanctions on Russia.

However, they are still debating whether the EU should impose sanctions on Russia’s gas and oil and seek supplies from other countries. In the midst of this controversy, Russia is strengthening ties with other Asian countries, including China, the world’s top energy consumer.

“The so-called allies of the unfriendly countries themselves admit that they will not be able to survive without natural gas and Russian energy,” Putin said at a recent government meeting.

“There is still no alternative to Russian gas in Europe,” he added.

Putin added that Europe was raising prices and destabilizing world markets by talking about cutting off energy supplies from Russia.

In this context, he instructed the Russian government to present a plan by June 1 to “expand transport infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific countries, including Africa and Latin America.”

He also mentioned the possibility of including two new pipelines at the meeting. The new routes could be another step towards switching Russia’s gas flows to Asia and Europe.

Russia will start supplying pipeline gas to China at the end of 2019. In addition, they agreed to a 30-year agreement through a new pipeline in February this year.

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