Putin accuses the West of 'hindering the development' of Gazprom

Putin accuses the West of


Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday blasted the West's “direct attempts” which he said were aimed at “hindering the development” of his national energy flagship, Gazprom, which has been under international sanctions for a year . 

“Despite unfair competition – to put it bluntly – and direct attempts from outside to hinder and slow down its development, Gazprom is moving forward and launching new projects,” Putin said in a videoconference speech at the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the gas giant.

These remarks come as the Russian gas sector has suffered the full brunt of European and American sanctions put in place in retaliation for the Kremlin's military intervention in Ukraine.< /p>

Gas exports have collapsed by 25.1% in 2022, according to official figures, with the European Union, once the largest customer of Russian gas, having in particular drastically reduced its imports over the past year.

While the Europeans have virtually stopped importing Russian gas by pipeline, they continue to buy liquefied natural gas (LNG), transported by sea on LNG tankers.

Faced with a European market that is now virtually closed to it, Gazprom, which has a monopoly on Russian gas exports via gas pipeline, has begun a strategic change in recent months, redirecting part of its exports to Asia, where energy demand is strong.

Thus, last year, gas deliveries via the “Siberian Force” gas pipeline in the Russian Far East to China reached an all-time high, announced on Monday Russian Deputy Prime Minister in charge of Energy, Alexander Novak.

But some observers believe that it is harder for Russia to redirect its exports to gas than to oil, too heavily sanctioned, because the necessary infrastructures (gas pipeline, factories and LNG tankers for LNG, etc.) are particularly expensive and take time to be built.

Gazprom, for example, plans to start construction in 2024 of a new gas pipeline, “Siberian Force 2”, to the n northwest China.

With nearly half a million employees, Gazprom, which holds the largest gas reserves in the world, is “one of the engines” of growth Russian national, Vladimir Putin finally recalled on Friday.