Putin pledges 'uninterrupted' global gas supply despite looming sanctions

FOX Business Headlines 2/22

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Russia President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday said Russia will continue to provide an "uninterrupted" supply of natural gas to global markets just hours after Germany halted the certification of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

Gas prices hit a seven-year high this month as the threat of a Russian invasion into Ukraine appeared increasingly likely – a spike expected to worsen following Putin’s decision to order "peacekeeping" forces into Eastern Ukraine Monday night.

Russian President Vladimir Putin listens to a journalist’s question during a joint news conference with Hungary Prime Minister Viktor Orban following their talks in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia. (Yuri Kochetkov/Pool Photo via AP / AP Newsroom)

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"Russia intends to continue uninterrupted gas deliveries, including [liquefied natural gas] LNG shipments, to global markets, to upgrade the available infrastructure and to invest more in the gas sector," he said in a letter to the Gas Exporting Countries Forum Tuesday.

Officials of the 11-member summit met in Qatar this week to address spiking gas prices as Europe looks to block oil exports from Russia – which supplies roughly 40% of the European market.

NATO promised severe sanctions if Moscow invaded Ukraine, and nations like the U.S., U.K. and Germany have already taken steps to hit the Kremlin with economic repercussions.

"The past few years proved difficult for the global energy sector, which has experienced the dire economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic," Putin argued Tuesday.

A Russian construction worker speaks on a mobile phone during a ceremony marking the start of Nord Stream pipeline construction in Portovaya Bay some 170 kms (106 miles) northwest from St. Petersburg, Russia, on April 9, 2010.  (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky, File / AP Newsroom)

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"We are convinced that it is in the interests of the global community to make sure that the energy transition does not become a means of promoting the political and economic interests of certain players. Moreover, it should not be accompanied by sanctions or any other restrictions," he added. 

The U.K. announced Tuesday that it has taken steps to target "oligarchs at the heart of Putin’s inner circle" as well as banks that have "bankrolled the Russian occupation of Crimea."

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Tanks move during the Union Courage-2022 Russia-Belarus military drills at the Obuz-Lesnovsky training ground in Belarus, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022.  (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr. / AP Newsroom)

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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Berlin would "reassess" the certification of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that would funnel gas from Russia into Europe through its borders – a move the White House applauded.

"We have been in close consultations with Germany overnight and welcome their announcement," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said. "We will be following up with our own measures today."

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