Truss urges EU to cut Putin out of energy deal as bloc suffers crisis

The Foreign Secretary’s comments come after Europe has felt the effects of relying on Moscow for its gas supplies. Russia’s state-owned gas giant, Gazprom, has been diverting gas away from the West through the Yamal-Europe pipeline for over two weeks straight. The move has seen gas price soar by 30 percent. And this is not the only instance that Mr Putin has been accused of sending prices soaring, with records being hit in October too while lower volumes were sent by Russia.

As Russia supplies Europe with more than 40 percent of its gas, it appears difficult for the bloc to escape the clutches of the Kremlin’s energy squeeze.

Ms Truss said: “Europe must reduce its dependence on Russian gas.

“Britain remains opposed to Nord Stream 2 and I’m working with allies and partners to highlight the strategic risks of this project.”

Nord Stream 2 is the pipeline that will bring gas from Russia to Germany, bypassing Poland and Ukraine, once gas flow begins.

But having been hit with delays, Mr Putin has been accused of deliberately withholding gas from Europe in order to speed up its certification.

And critics say that the new pipeline will only further tighten Russia’s control over Europe gas, suggesting why Ms Truss has voiced her opposition to the project.

But Mr Putin has claimed the approval of the pipeline would allow Europe’s rising prices to be eased.

The Russian President said: “This, for sure, will have an immediate impact on price on the market, on the spot.

“And all the countries, the consumers in those countries that consume the Russian gas, of course, will feel it themselves.”

But the pipeline is being dragged into another dispute.

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With reports that 100,000 Russian troops have piled up on the Ukraine-Russia border, fears that Mr Putin might launch an invasion have soared.

But one means of stopping this, some have claimed, is to threaten to scrap Nord Stream 2 altogether.

This, the Biden administration has claimed, is why the pipeline can be used as “leverage” to prevent Russia from invading.

Jake Sullivan, President Joe Biden’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said in a press briefing: “It is not leverage for Putin.

“It is leverage for the West because if Vladimir Putin wants to see gas flow through that pipeline, he might not want to take that risk of invading Ukraine.”

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Ms Truss, making a statement in the House of Commons, said: “We will not accept the campaign Russia is waging to subvert its democratic neighbours.

“It is accompanied by baseless rhetoric and disinformation.
“They have falsely cast Ukraine as a threat to justify their aggressive stance. “They falsely accuse Nato of provocation; this could not be further from the truth.

Tomorrow, the Foreign Secretary take part in a meeting of NATO foreign ministers.

Ms Truss added: “There can be no rewards for aggression.
“We are reaching a crucial moment. The only way forward is for Russia to de-escalate and pursue a path of diplomacy.

“We will continue to stand together with our allies, steadfast in support of Ukraine and its future as a free and sovereign democracy.”