French President Emmanuel Macron has dismissed allegations that Russia contributed to Europe’s current energy crisis.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Macron warned against “trading tensions” between world leaders.
“I have no evidence that there’s been manipulation of prices and I’m not accusing anybody,” he said. “These are trading relations. They shouldn’t be used for geopolitical reasons.”
Europe is facing a crisis as gas prices have spiraled to multi-year highs in recent weeks. Some in the continent accuse Russia of deliberately restricting gas flows into Europe, which is heavily reliant on energy supplies from Russia.
“It’s not a matter of whether we’re too dependent on a company or not, it’s how do we create alternatives,” Macron said, referring to the Russian gas giant Gazprom, adding that “the only alternatives are to have European renewables and of course, European nuclear.”
Macron also noted that “it is unlikely for energy prices to be reduced significantly over the short term.” He urged the world’s top 20 economies, known as the G20, to coordinate between energy producers and consuming countries to prevent a supply breakdown this winter, which risked “extreme tensions both economically and socially.”
President Vladimir Putin of Russia has said Europe’s gas shortage is largely caused by “systematic flaws” in the continent’s energy market. He believes what is happening in Europe is due to the “unbalanced decisions” and “drastic steps” they take. The Russian leader also said his country was “ready” to increase gas exports, adding that supplies were going up by “as much as our partners are asking us.”
Russia supplies more than a third of Europe’s gas.