Russian President Vladimir Putin has threatened to retaliate against any move by the European Union to cap the price of Russian gas by halting flows completely and suggesting a deal allowing Ukrainian grain to be exported to world markets could be disrupted.
This comes as EU ministers are set to discuss gas cap measures on Friday.
Addressing an economic conference in the Russian Far East late on Wednesday, Putin referred to the EU’s proposed cap on Russian gas prices as “yet another stupidity, another non-market decision that has no future”.
The Russian president said such a move by Europe could result in more price hikes.
Putin also noted that Russian piped gas is “many times more competitive than the liquefied natural gas shipped across the ocean”, in reference to the higher price Europe is paying to stock up on American LNG as a replacement. He vowed to ignore “political decisions that contradict contracts”.
“We won’t be supplying anything if it runs counter to our interests,” state-run Tass news agency reported him as saying. “Those who are imposing whatsoever on us are not in a position to tell us what they want. Let them think about it.”
Putin also threatened to disrupt the UN-brokered deal that has seen Turkey mediate shipments of Ukrainian grain from Odesa to world markets via Istanbul, suggesting that only wealthy countries are receiving this grain.
Ukraine and Russia cut a deal with Turkey and the UN in July in order to avert a global food crisis due to large volumes of Ukrainian grain blocked from leaving ports.
Putin called the grain deal “another outrageous deceit” and vowed to “have a word with the Turkish President”, saying Russia and other poorer countries were not benefiting from the deal. The Russian president said that for the time being, Moscow would continue with the deal but suggested he would be looking for concessions.