‘Spoke in the wheel’: Putin castigates schemes to stonewall Russian gas projects

In late December 2019, the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline was suspended after the Swiss Allseas company refused to lay pipes due to possible sanctions from Washington© EPA-EFE/CLEMENS BILAN

MOSCOW, October 29. /TASS/. President Vladimir Putin excoriated schemes to “put a spoke in the wheel” of Russia’s gas projects branding them a non-market way to restrict the competitiveness of the Russian economy, during a speech on Thursday at the Russia Calling! VTB Capital Investment Forum.

“Blue fuel exports and export prices are much higher than prices for the domestic consumer, which enable us, in particular, to carry out plans for developing our country’s gas supply network. Not only do they provide additional elements of competitiveness for our economy that our European partners do not always agree with, they try to put spokes in our wheels, which is, in my opinion, absolutely ungrounded,” Putin said.

“Indeed, this is our natural competitive advantage, why does someone think that it is necessary to constrain it in a nonmarket way? I think that this is wrong, unfair and not the market way whatsoever,” Putin stressed.

Putin noted that at the moment he “cannot say that he is satisfied with the country’s pace of gasification development.” The average level of gasification is about 70%, and in the Central Federal District it is 85%.

“We will keep on carrying out gasification programs within the country,” he vowed.

In late December 2019, the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline was suspended after the Swiss Allseas company refused to lay pipes due to possible sanctions from Washington. To date, Nord Stream 2 is 93% complete. The Nord Stream 2 project is aimed at constructing two pipelines with a total capacity of 55 billion cubic meters per year from the coast of Russia through the Baltic Sea to Germany.

(C)TASS 2020

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