MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the West on Wednesday of provoking crises on the global oil and gas market by rushing to switch to green energy and imposing pressure on other countries to do the same.
“In fact, the reasons for the negative phenomena in the energy sector were the irresponsible actions of the collective West, when it decided to force … the green transition for itself and impose the same green transition on other countries that were simply not economically ready for it,” Lavrov said in televised comments.
He said Western boycotts of Russian energy in response to the war in Ukraine had “dealt a serious blow to global energy security. These steps led to the rupture of historical value chains, costly redistribution of global energy flows and rising transaction and logistics costs.”
Lavrov said the blowing-up of Russia’s Nord Stream gas pipelines to Europe last year had deprived the continent of cheap gas and made it more reliant on expensive imports from the United States.
His comments were in line with Moscow’s long-running narrative that sanctions against Russia have been an own goal, and that Western countries have made a grave mistake in turning away from Russian energy.
The sanctions have severely hit Russian gas giant Gazprom, which has lost most of its European markets, and forced Russia to sharply increase sales of oil at discounted prices to countries such as China and India.
(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Gareth Jones)