Putin Threatens to Let Europe ‘Freeze’ — Russian President Warns ‘We Will Not Supply Gas, Oil, Coal, Heating Oil’
Following the discussions concerning the inter-governmental political forum Group of Seven (G7) pledging to impose price caps on crude oil and the European Commission talking about fixing electricity prices, Russian president Vladimir Putin explained on Wednesday that Russia will not supply the industrialized economic powers and the West with energy. “We will not supply gas, oil, coal, heating oil — we will not supply anything,” Putin stressed during the Eastern Economic Forum’s plenary session.
Putin to Europe: ‘Freeze, Freeze, the Wolf’s Tail’
Vladimir Putin explained that the Kremlin plans to let the wolf’s tail freeze, referring to Europe and the Russian fable where a fox tricks a wolf into freezing his tail, and the fox eventually defeats the wolf with this tactic.
“We will not supply anything outside the contracts. We will not do anything that they try to force us to do,” Putin declared on Wednesday. “We will not supply gas, oil, coal, heating oil — we will not supply anything,” he added. “The only thing we can do is to keep on saying the line from a well-known Russian fairytale’—Freeze, freeze, the wolf’s tail.’”
Putin’s speech follows the report that claims Russia and Iran plan to establish a global gas cartel. In recent times, the Russian gas giant Gazprom and the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) partnered by signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU).
Earlier this week, Gazprom explained the Nord Stream 1 (NS1) pipeline would be out of service indefinitely. However, statements made by Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, quoted by Interfax, indicate Moscow will not be turning the gas back on until the West’s financial sanctions are lifted.
Putin Says Western Sanctions Are ‘Stupid,’ Claims Russia ‘Has Not Lost Anything’
Putin remarked on Wednesday that Western sanctions are “stupid,” and he further opined: “I’m sure we have not lost anything and will not lose anything. The main thing is strengthening our sovereignty, and this is the inevitable result of what is happening now.”
Meanwhile, the European Central Bank (ECB) president Christine Lagarde is expected to produce a jumbo-sized rate hike this week. Lagarde also blames climate change for some of Europe’s torrid inflation, which reached a lifetime high last month. Most economists are tethering Europe’s economic issues to the Ukraine-Russia war and the ongoing energy crisis.
“ECB watcher” and Berenberg Bank’s chief economist, Holger Schmieding, said in a research note that Europe’s central bank could hike the benchmark bank rate by 75 basis points. “As frontloaded hikes can have a bigger impact on inflation expectations than a more gradual approach, a [75bps] move could make sense,” Schmieding remarked on Wednesday.
At the Eastern Economic Forum’s plenary session, the Russian president said if the G7 plans to implement price caps, Russia will not acknowledge any current contracts and walk away from future gas supply deals.
“Will there be any political decisions that contradict the contracts? Yes, we won’t fulfill them. We will not supply anything at all if it contradicts our interests,” Putin said.
During the latter half of his speech, Putin denied the European Union’s accusations that said Russia is “weaponising energy supplies.” The Russian president added that the West also failed to address the technical issues allegedly tied to the NS1 pipeline.