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EXCLUSIVE: Putin also brought up the issue of mysterious blasts at Russia-designed Nord Stream undersea pipelines.
- May 25, 2023 12:32 pm GMT
Putin says energy prices approaching 'economically justified' levels
"It's disappointing that Nord Stream 1 was blown up and Nord Stream 2 hasn't started yet due to the severe damage caused by explosions in September. Russia blames the West, but there's no evidence to support this. Swedish and Danish investigators suspect sabotage, but they haven't identified who's responsible. Hopefully, we'll get some answers soon."
REUTERS, MAY 24, 2023/EDITING BY GERMÁN & CO
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik in Moscow, Russia, May 23, 2023. Sputnik/Alexey Filippov/Pool via REUTERS
MOSCOW, May 24 (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday energy prices were approaching "economically justified" levels and that Russia was continuing to meet its commitments on energy supplies.
Speaking at a conference of the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union in Moscow, Putin also raised the issue of energy shortages in Europe.
"Now, thank God, energy prices are approaching an economically justified level, but who is to blame for what had happened?" he said, speaking in front of the leaders of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
Putin didn't elaborate on the prices.
On Wednesday, oil prices rose after U.S. crude and fuel supplies tightened and as a warning from the Saudi energy minister to speculators raised the prospect of further cuts by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies including Russia, a group known as OPEC+.
Some investors took the Saudi comments as a signal that OPEC+ could consider further output cuts at a meeting on June 4, while Putin's remark on prices could be an indicator about no immediate changes to production policy of the group.
Putin said earlier this month oil production cuts, which were implemented by OPEC+, were required to maintain a certain price level, contradicting assurances from other leaders of the group that it was not seeking to manage the market in that way.
Putin also brought up the issue of mysterious blasts at Russia-designed Nord Stream undersea pipelines.
"They blew up Nord Stream 1, didn't start Nord Stream 2," he said, referring to the twin gas pipelines from Russia across the Baltic Sea to Germany that were severely damaged by explosions last September.
Russia, without providing evidence, has repeatedly said the West was behind the blasts. Investigators from Sweden and Denmark - in whose exclusive economic zones the explosions occurred - have said the ruptures were a result of sabotage, but have not said who they believe was responsible.
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