MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday accused the West of provoking crises in the global oil and gas market by rushing to switch to green energy and pressuring 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 to impose the same green transition on other countries that were simply not economically ready for this,” Lavrov said in televised comments.
He said the Western boycott of Russian energy in response to the war in Ukraine had dealt “a serious blow to global energy security. These moves resulted in the disruption of historic value chains, a costly redistribution of global energy flows and rising transaction and logistics costs.”
Lavrov said the blowing up of Russia’s Nord Stream gas pipeline to Europe last year deprived the continent of cheap gas and made it more dependent on expensive imports from the United States.
His comments were consistent with Moscow’s long-held narrative that sanctions against Russia were an own goal and that Western countries made a grave mistake by turning away from Russian energy.
The sanctions have hit Russian gas giant Gazprom hard, 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)