President Vladimir Putin has rejected accusations that Russia is deliberately driving natural gas prices higher in Europe by withholding exports.
Speaking at an energy conference in Moscow on Wednesday, Putin called the accusations "politically motivated" and without evidence. His comments came as EU officials said lower than anticipated supplies of Russian gas were partly to blame for Europe's energy crisis and pledged to accelerate the bloc's efforts to wean itself off fossil fuels.
"Russia is not using any weapons," Putin said. "Even during the hardest parts of the Cold War, Russia regularly fulfilled its contractual obligations and supplied gas to Europe," he added.