The pipeline has been contentious in U.S. politics, too. Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, has blocked affirmation of dozens of Mr. Biden’s diplomatic appointments, together with greater than 50 would-be ambassadors, to insist that the president do extra to halt European approval for Nord Stream 2.
Runaway fuel costs in Europe this fall have performed into Mr. Putin’s fingers. Russia, the world’s largest pure fuel exporter, gives about 40 p.c of the fuel imported to Europe, which has more and more turned to pure fuel to generate energy as coal-burning vegetation have been shut down. As European shoppers pay ever extra for electrical energy, their persistence with the intricacies of Japanese European safety politics could wane.
On the convention, known as Russian Power Week, Mr. Putin famous that utility payments — and frustration — had been rising in Europe. Pure fuel is essential for producing electrical energy, and he mentioned electrical energy prices about 10 occasions extra in European Union international locations than in Russia.
Power analysts and firm executives say quite a lot of components have pushed up prices, together with the climate, the abrupt acceleration of nationwide economies after pandemic restrictions, and excessive costs in China that prompted U.S. liquefied pure fuel producers to ship tankers to Asia relatively than Europe.
Responding to criticism that Russia is attempting to control the pure fuel markets to win approval for Nord Stream 2, Mr. Putin denied any Russian position in driving up costs. He blamed European Union insurance policies encouraging different vitality sources, resembling wind and photo voltaic farms. Mr. Putin additionally identified that American liquefied pure fuel exporters had elevated shipments to China relatively than bolster provides in Europe.
Mr. Putin mentioned Russia had fulfilled all its contracts to ship fuel to Europe and had equipped extra pure fuel this 12 months than final 12 months. Russia, he mentioned, is able to ship extra if corporations negotiate new offers with Gazprom.
“We’re growing” fuel provides to Europe, he mentioned. “And if you happen to ask us to extend extra, we’ll. We are going to enhance as a lot as our companions ask.”