Russia will try to “come to the rescue” of the UK amid rapidly rising energy costs, says the country’s ambassador Andrei Kelin.
He told Andrew Marr that that if there is an “opportunity” to help the UK, then the country will “do what we can to alleviate difficult conditions which are now being created with the crisis.”
His comments follow three more UK energy firms ceasing trading in the past week including Pure Planet, Colorado Energy and Daligas, which collectively represented 260,000 customers.
The companies were struggling with sharp spikes in wholesale costs from gas shippers following global energy shortages.
Russia provides approximately five percent of the UK’s gas usage, but nearly half of the EU’s natural gas imports.
Kelin also repeated Putin’s statements earlier this week that the country is not withholding gas supplies to Europe for political reasons, such as to speed up approval of Gazprom’s newly built 764-mile Nord Stream 2 pipeline running directly from Russia to Germany.
He said, “Certainly we do not withold it for political reasons.”
Instead he pointed to “gas problems at the pump stations.”
When asked about the idea Russia has huge powers over Europe just by “using a tap”, he joked that the tap was in the embassy basement.
The Russian president previously described the claims as politically motivated “blather”.
He also did not see any contradictions between Putin’s rejection of the political accusations, and Prime Minister Alexander Novak saying that approval of Nord Stream 2 would “cool off the current situation.”
Kelin argued that it would cool off the current situation because it increase capacity of gas travelling to Europe, not because Russia was playing political games.
He expects the pipeline to get the ‘final go-ahead’ from Germany but warned people to be patient, as “gas travels at not the speed light”.