According to the U.S. Secretary of State, “when Europe most needs stable supplies of energy resources so that people survive the winter, Russia tried to increase its leverage in the energy sector.”

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken believes that Russia is currently withholding natural gas supplies to Europe, despite the urgent need for them on the continent. The chief of American diplomacy made this statement at a meeting of the U.S.-EU Energy Council, which met at the ministerial level on Monday in Washington.

“A moment like this demonstrates why these relations [the U.S. and the EU] are so important for transatlantic and, indeed, global security. It was at a time when Europe most needed stable supplies of energy resources so that people could survive the winter, that Russia tried to increase its leverage in the energy sector,” Blinken argued. “As the International Energy Agency (IEA) has noted, Russian state-owned companies are currently holding back natural gas supplies – the very supplies that can help reduce the record high prices that Europeans are facing,” said the head of the U.S. Foreign Ministry.

Earlier, the head of the IEA, Fatih Birol, quoted by the Bloomberg news agency, expressed the opinion that tensions in the European gas market arose because of Russia’s behavior. From his point of view, Gazprom is mostly to blame for the shortage of gas in Europe’s storage facilities.