Putin Tells West “Don’t Blame Me” For Soaring Energy Prices

Putin Tells West “Don’t Blame Me” For Soaring Energy Prices

Releases Banned Exports Partial List


On Thursday Russia released its list of exports that are banned as retaliation against Western sanctions. “These measures are a logical response to those imposed against Russia and are aimed at ensuring uninterrupted functioning of key sectors of the economy,” the economy ministry said.

Notably, the only major commodity being banned is lumber, despite two days ago upon the initial announcement the Kremlin saying “certain commodities and raw materials” would fall under the ban. While not yet naming the precise list of specific items it’s said to include 200 total products…

“The list includes technical, telecommunication and medical equipment, vehicles, agricultural machinery, electrical equipment – more than 200 items in total, including railway cars and locomotives, containers, turbines, metal and stone processing machines, monitors, projectors, consoles and panels,” the Kremlin statement says. “This measure is necessary to ensure stability in the Russian market.”

And more according to Reuters:

Interfax news agency cited a source familiar with legislation being prepared as saying Russia may temporarily ban grain exports to a group of ex-Soviet countries forming part of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) from March 15 to August 31, as well as sugar exports outside the EEU area.

Also on Thursday Russian President Putin addressed soaring energy prices in the West and worldwide, saying Washington is engaged in an empty blame-game. He urged the public not to accept the US narrative that he is to blame. According to a state media translation, Putin said:

“The prices there [for energy carriers in the EU countries] are growing, but not through our fault. This is the result of their own miscalculations. They should not blame us for this.”

“The same applies to the surge in prices for oil and petroleum products in the United States. They announced that they were closing the import of Russian oil to the American market, prices there are high, inflation is unprecedentedly high, probably reached all-time highs. They are trying to shift blame for the results of their own mistakes on us,” the Russian leader added.

And more via TASS: According to him, this is obvious to market experts, “because the supply of Russian oil to the American market does not exceed 3%.”

“This is a negligible volume, and their prices are rising. We have absolutely nothing to do with it, and even here the ban on Russian oil imports has absolutely nothing to do with it. They just hide behind these decisions in order to once again deceive their own population,” Putin said.

He further called out US hypocrisy for seeking to quickly do deals with Maduro’s Venezuela as well as the Islamic Republic:

“They are ready to make peace with Iran, immediately sign all the documents, and with Venezuela. They went to Venezuela to negotiate, but they should not have introduced these illegitimate sanctions,” he said. “The same will happen in relations with our country, I have no doubt about that.”

* * *

Update(12:45ET)European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell issued a provocative statement aimed at Moscow and Putin personally on Thursday. Borrell declared that Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine starting on Feb.24 with the belief that he was quickly going to conquer Ukraine, but that “he failed”. Borrell stated of Putin: he “believed he was going to conquer Ukraine” but “he failed.”

The EU top diplomat continued:

“He believed he was going to divide us; he failed. He believed that he was going to weaken the transatlantic relationship and he failed. Now he has to stop,” he added while speaking to reporters while entering a summit of EU leaders in France’s Versailles.

Borrell also addressed the necessity of Europe winding down its energy dependence on Russia, saying, “we will be much safer. Have to spend less gas, use less gas, the climate requires that. For once, geopolitics and climate go together.”

European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen had a similar message at the summit in Versailles, saying, “we will rethink European defense with strong capabilities. We will rethink energy. We have to get rid of the dependence of Russian fossil fuels and for that we need massive investment in renewables.”

During the fourth round of Ukraine-Russia talks, Kiev is reported to have offered “neutrality” on the NATO question, but it went nowhere:

Thursday’s high-level talks in Turkey between Ukrainian and Russian foreign affairs counterparts ended in no progress for a potential cease-fire or for protecting civilians in the heavily bombarded Mariupol, even after Ukraine suggested a “neutrality” proposal with security guarantees from world powers.

In the most senior interaction since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, the failed talks between Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and his counterpart, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, lasted just 90 minutes in the Turkish coastal city of Antalya.

Russia reportedly rejected Ukraine’s “neutrality” proposals that promised international security guarantees, according to the Financial Times. The two sides discussed a 24-hour cease-fire but did not make progress, as Russia was still seeking “surrender from Ukraine,” Kuleba said.

And via Bloomberg on Thursday, Russia has signaled it’s ready repay debt in increasingly worthless rubles in a fresh counterthreat to drop sactions: “Russia will repay debt in rubles if agent banks deny to unfreeze reserves or don’t respond to queries,” Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said. He further stipulated:

  • Repayment of debt, payment of coupons in FX will only be possible if the FX accounts of the government and central bank are “unfrozen,” he says
  • Russia “will fulfill obligations to investors in any case,” he says


(TLB) published this article from ZeroHedge as compiled and written by Tyler Durden

Header featured image (edited) credit: Putin/© Alexei Nikolsky/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS

Emphasis added by (TLB) editors



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