Putin says Europe’s plan to limit the price of Russian gas is ‘stupid’ and has no prospect of succeeding

  • Vladimir Putin called Europe’s plan to impose a ceiling on Russian gas prices “stupid.” 
  • The Russian leader said the cap would lead to higher prices and has no prospects, in a speech Wednesday. 
  • Putin also mocked Western sanctions, saying Russia has no problems selling its energy globally. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin ripped into Europe’s plans to impose a price cap on Russian natural gas as Western nations try to get a grip on soaring energy costs.

The European Commission’s energy agency recently urged EU member countries to bring in “emergency wholesale price cap” measures to help households and businesses struggling to pay their energy bills. The cap would set a limit on what local buyers can pay wholesale for Russian gas imports.

Speaking at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia, Putin called this “stupid,” adding it would lead to higher prices, per Reuters.

“This is another (example of) stupidity. This is another non market solution that has no prospects. All administrative restrictions in global trade only lead to imbalances and higher prices,” Putin said Wednesday, according to Reuters.

European natural gas prices have risen steeply since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, as the country cut off gas flows to the continent in response to Western sanctions imposed on them.

Benchmark European natural gas prices surged by 36% on Monday, after Russia’s Gazprom said it wouldn’t resume gas flows via its key Nord Steam 1 pipeline to Europe after a maintenance shutdown. 

Dutch TTF futures have since pulled back, and were down 2.7% at just over 233 euros ($230) as governments step up their efforts to reduce costs through price caps. They hit a record high above $340 per megawatt hour in August.

In his speech, Putin said the country has “no problems” selling its extensive energy resources around the world, mocking the intended effect of sanctions and boycotts. 

Selling its discounted oil and gas to countries like India and China has put Russia on track to generate $285 billion in revenue this year, Bloomberg Economics has forecast.

Putin renewed Russia’s promise to cut off buyers that abide by measures such as Europe’s planned gas price cap and the US-led price cap on its oil.

“Will there be any political decisions that contradict the contracts? Yes, we just won’t fulfil them. We will not supply anything at all if it contradicts our interests,” he said.

“We will not supply gas, oil, coal, heating oil — we will not supply anything.”

This story was updated with Putin’s comments on Sept. 7.