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Russia's Vladimir Putin talks energy and geopolitics – CNBC

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Follow our live coverage as Russian President Vladimir Putin joins business leaders in Moscow for a CNBC-moderated panel at Russian Energy Week.

Hosted by CNBC’s Hadley Gamble, Putin will discuss a range of energy issues alongside BP CEO Bernard Looney, TotalEnergies CEO Patrick Pouyanne, ExxonMobil CEO Darren Woods and Daimler CEO Ola Kallenius.

Below is our live blog of all the latest developments. You can watch the panel here:

This is CNBC’s live blog of our panel with Putin at Russian Energy Week. This will be updated throughout the session.

All times below are Eastern Daylight Time:

8:35 am: TotalEnergies CEO says coal is ‘king’ amid energy supply crunch

TotalEnergies CEO Patrick Pouyanne has said coal is “king” amid power supply shortages in Europe and Asia because it’s cheaper than other energy sources.

Speaking to CNBC’s Hadley Gamble at Russian Energy Week, Pouyanne said substituting gas for coal would be “good” for climate change, but that such a move would require lower gas prices.

“We need to have a lower price because coal, today, is king,” Pouyanne said on Wednesday. “Coal is cheaper than all the other sources for energy.”

Coal is the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel in terms of emissions and therefore the most important target for replacement in the pivot to renewable alternatives.

Burning fossil fuels, such as oil, gas and coal, is the chief driver of the climate crisis, yet the world’s dependency on fossil fuels is set to get even worse in the coming decades.

8:10 am: Putin claims Nord Stream 2 is a ‘purely commercial project,’ dismiss criticism as nonsense

Russia’s Putin has rejected criticism of the contentious Nord Stream 2 pipeline as “nonsense,” describing the undersea pipeline as a “purely commercial project.”

Nord Stream 2 is designed to deliver Russian gas directly to Germany via the Baltic Sea, bypassing Ukraine and Poland.

Critics argue the pipeline is not compatible with European climate goals, increases the region’s dependence on Russian energy exports, and will most likely strengthen Putin‘s economic and political influence over the region.

The construction of Nord Stream 2 was completed last month. Germany’s energy regulator has since said it has four months to complete certification of the project after receiving all necessary paperwork for an operating license.

— Sam Meredith

8:00 am: ‘Utter nonsense’: Putin says Russia is not using energy as a geopolitical weapon

Russia’s Putin says Moscow is not using natural gas as a geopolitical weapon, insisting that criticism over the country’s role in Europe’s deepening energy crisis is “politically motivated” and “utter nonsense.”

“We are not using any weapons,” Putin told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble on Wednesday, according to a translation. “Even during the hardest parts of the Cold War, Russia regularly has fulfilled its contractual obligations and supplied gas to Europe.”

Last month, in a rare public rebuke of Russia, the International Energy Agency called on Russia to send more gas to Europe to alleviate the region’s deepening supply crunch.

Separately, the chief executive of Ukrainian state energy giant Naftogaz has previously accused Russia’s Gazprom of using natural gas as a geopolitical weapon.

— Sam Meredith

7:40 am: Why are natural gas prices so high?

As Putin concludes his opening address to the plenary session of Russian Energy Week, here’s a useful explainer on Europe’s unfolding energy crisis.

A perfect storm of bad news for energy markets has comprised of an eye-watering increase in natural gas prices, soaring coal and carbon costs, low wind output and predictions of a return to $100 oil.

Policymakers are trying to mitigate the impact on consumers and protect vulnerable households.

— Sam Meredith

7:35 am: Putin says Russia is ready to discuss additional steps to supply gas to Europe

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a plenary session of the Russian Energy Week International Forum in Moscow, Russia October 13, 2021.
Sergei Ilnitsky | Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday the country stands ready to discuss additional steps to supply natural gas to Europe, adding that he believes Moscow is on track to deliver record levels of gas to the global market by year-end.

Speaking on stage at Russian Energy Week, Putin said, according to a translation: “For any market, stability and predictability is important and Russia flawlessly fulfils its contractual obligations to our partners, including our partners in Europe.”

“We ensure guaranteed, uninterrupted gas deliveries to Europe. We have all the reasons to believe that by the end of this year we will reach record levels of gas deliveries to the global market.”

Putin said the country would be ready to discuss any additional steps to supply further gas deliveries to Europe, echoing comments from the Kremlin earlier in the day.

His comments come shortly before a CNBC-moderated panel on global energy, where Putin will be joined by BP CEO Bernard Looney, TotalEnergies CEO Patrick Pouyanne, ExxonMobil CEO Darren Woods and Daimler CEO Ola Kallenius.

— Sam Meredith

6:35 am: IEA’s Birol says surging energy prices must not derail climate policy

The chief executive of the International Energy Agency told CNBC on Wednesday that surging energy prices must not derail the urgent need to significantly reduce worldwide fossil fuel use.

“High prices in coal, or gas, or in oil, they have nothing to do with the clean energy transition,” Fatih Birol said. “I see that some say try to portray this current situation as the first crisis of the clean energy transition — which is incorrect.”

He added: “If not addressed by the governments and others properly … and if the real facts are not brought to the public, it may well be a significant barrier for further climate policy action.”

His comments come just weeks ahead of a landmark international climate change summit due to be held in Glasgow, Scotland.

— Sam Meredith

6:05 am: Russia hits new record for daily Covid deaths as infections rise, vaccinations lag

5:45 am: Russia says gas supplies to Europe are at maximum levels, any increase to be negotiated with Gazprom

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov on Wednesday said Russia was supplying gas to Europe at maximum levels under existing contracts, according to the TASS news agency.

Any potential increase in supply would need to be negotiated via Russia’s state-owned energy giant Gazprom, Peskov said, adding Moscow stands ready to increase gas transit through Ukraine if the European Union increases purchases.

“We can say that Russia is flawlessly fulfilling all contractual obligations under the upper bar, that is, to the possible maximum, all volumes of supplies have been increased in the light of the contracts and agreements that exist,” Peskov said, TASS reported.

— Sam Meredith

5:50 am: Putin to deliver opening remarks at Russian Energy Week

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a plenary session of the Russian Energy Week International Forum in Moscow, Russia October 13, 2021.
Sergey Guneev | Sputnik | Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday is scheduled to deliver a speech at the plenary session of the Russian Energy Week international forum in Moscow.

His opening remarks come ahead of a CNBC-moderated panel on global energy, where Putin will be joined by BP CEO Bernard Looney, TotalEnergies CEO Patrick Pouyanne, ExxonMobil CEO Darren Woods and Daimler CEO Ola Kallenius.

CNBC’s Hadley Gamble is set to welcome the business leaders to the stage at around 1:00 p.m. Moscow time (6 a.m. ET), with Putin expected to speak for approximately 15 minutes thereafter.

— Sam Meredith

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