- Europe is dependent on Russia for natural gas, but Gazprom has turned off the Nord Stream 1 pipeline.
- Russian President Putin said the EU just has to turn on Nord Stream 2 for more natural gas.
- The Nord Stream 2 runs parallel to Nord Stream 1, a key gas pipeline linking Russia and Europe.
Russian President Vladimir Putin denied Russian responsibility for Europe's energy crisis and said the EU can simply turn on the new Nord Stream 2 pipeline if it wants more natural gas from his country.
"The bottom line is, if you have an urge, if it's so hard for you, just lift the sanctions on Nord Stream 2, which is 55 billion cubic metres of gas per year, just push the button and everything will get going," said Putin after the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Uzbekistan on Friday, per Reuters.
He also criticized the "green agenda" — the EU's renewable energy push — which he said started the energy crisis even before the war in Ukraine.
The Nord Stream 2 natural-gas pipeline runs in parallel to Nord Stream 1, a key pipeline that delivers fuel from Russia to Europe. The $ 11 billion Nord Stream 2 pipeline was completed in September, and stands to double Russia's gas flows to Europe. However, Nord Stream 2 has never been operational because Germany shelved the project in February, days before Russia invaded Ukraine.
The EU is staring at an energy crisis this coming winter as Russia supplies about 40% of Europe's natural gas, most of which is transported via pipelines. In 2021, Russia exported about 155 billion cubic meters of the fuel to Europe — more than one-third of which came from the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, according to Reuters.
In early September, Russia state gas giant Gazprom completely turned off supply to Europe via Nord Stream 1. Gazprom and the Kremlin have consistently insisted that the slowing of gas flows was due to technical reasons.
Benchmark European natural-gas future have more than doubled from a year ago.