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Putin says 'utter nonsense' Russia is using gas as a geopolitical weapon, ready to help Europe

Live coverage of this CNBC-moderated panel has now ended.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday joined business leaders in Moscow for a CNBC-moderated panel at Russian Energy Week.

Hosted by CNBC's Hadley Gamble, Putin discussed a range of energy issues alongside BP CEO Bernard Looney, TotalEnergies CEO Patrick Pouyanne, ExxonMobil CEO Darren Woods and Daimler CEO Ola Kallenius.

10:00 am: Here are the main takeaways as the panel concludes

As proceedings draw to a close, here's a look at some of the main takeaways from Wednesday's panel:

On gas: At the start of the plenary session at Russian Energy Week, Russia's Putin insisted the country was not using gas as a geopolitical weapon and instead stands ready to help Europe with additional energy supplies. CNBC's Holly Ellyatt has the story: Putin says Russia is not using gas as a weapon, claims U.S. added to energy crisis

On Nord Stream 2: Putin rejected criticism of the contentious pipeline as "nonsense" and described the project as "purely commercial."

On COP26: The Russian president said he was still unsure whether to attend U.N.-brokered climate talks in person later this month. The event is due to be held in Glasgow, Scotland from Oct. 31 through to Nov. 12. CNBC's Vicky McKeever has the story: Putin says he may not attend climate summit COP26 over Covid fears

On Taiwan: Russia's Putin said China "does not need to use force" to reach national goals and described Beijing as a "truly reliable partner and ally." CNBC's Elliot Smith has the story: President Putin on Taiwan: ‘China does not need to use force’

On oil: Putin said he believed it was "quite possible" oil prices could climb above $100 as energy demand rises. CNBC's Silvia Amaro has the story: $100 oil is 'quite possible,' Russia's Putin says

On U.S. ties: Russia's president said he hoped diplomatic ties between the U.S. and Russia would gradually improve, citing a host of fundamental and shared interests.

— Sam Meredith

9:25 am: Russia prepared to hold direct talks with NATO to work on long-standing issues

Russia is prepared to hold direct talks with the NATO alliance to work on long-standing geopolitical issues, Putin said on Wednesday.

"Yes, we are willing to talk directly to NATO in particular," Putin said, according to a translation.

The Russian president defended the country's large-scale military exercises, saying they had been conducted within their own territory. Putin sharply criticized the U.S., however, for holding military exercises outside of its borders.

— Sam Meredith

9:05 am: Putin hopeful U.S.-Russia relations will gradually improve

Russia's Putin says he is hopeful diplomatic ties between Moscow and Washington will gradually improve in the coming years.

The Russian president cited shared interests in tackling fundamental issues such as security, reduction of strategic weapons, combating terrorism, money laundering and tax havens, and stabilizing energy markets. "Those are objectively important things for us where our interests coincide," Putin said, according to a translation.

Putin said he hoped the U.S. administration would "stop speculating" on the U.S.-Russia relationship, adding U.S.-imposed sanctions against Russia had only served to damage their own interests and companies.

— Sam Meredith

8:45 am: Putin says not yet decided whether to attend COP26

VIDEO1:2501:25
Putin has 'not decided' if he will attend COP26 climate summit

Russia's Putin has said he is unsure whether to attend critically important climate talks due to be held in the U.K. later this month.

"I have not decided on that yet due to the pandemic situation but still I will participate in the work of COP26," Putin told CNBC's Hadley Gamble, according to a translation. "I'm not sure whether I will go there and participate in it personally but I will definitely participate in it."

The U.N.-brokered summit, known as COP26, will see world leaders gather in Glasgow, Scotland from Oct. 31 through to Nov. 12. to discuss how to meet the demands of the climate emergency.

Russia's climate targets, policies and finance are recognized as "critically insufficient" by Climate Action Tracker, an independent research group. This rating means Russia's current climate policies "reflect minimal to no action and are not at all consistent with the Paris Agreement."

— Sam Meredith

8:35 am: TotalEnergies CEO says coal is 'king' amid energy supply crunch

TotalEnergies CEO Patrick Pouyanne has said coal is "king" amid power supply shortages in Europe and Asia because it's cheaper than other energy sources.

Speaking to CNBC's Hadley Gamble at Russian Energy Week, Pouyanne said substituting gas for coal would be "good" for climate change, but that such a move would require lower gas prices.

"We need to have a lower price because coal, today, is king," Pouyanne said on Wednesday. "Coal is cheaper than all the other sources for energy."

Coal is the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel in terms of emissions and therefore the most important target for replacement in the pivot to renewable alternatives.

Burning fossil fuels, such as oil, gas and coal, is the chief driver of the climate crisis, yet the world's dependency on fossil fuels is set to get even worse in the coming decades.

8:10 am: Putin claims Nord Stream 2 is a 'purely commercial project,' dismiss criticism as nonsense

Russia's Putin has rejected criticism of the contentious Nord Stream 2 pipeline as "nonsense," describing the undersea pipeline as a "purely commercial project."

Nord Stream 2 is designed to deliver Russian gas directly to Germany via the Baltic Sea, bypassing Ukraine and Poland.

Critics argue the pipeline is not compatible with European climate goals, increases the region's dependence on Russian energy exports, and will most likely strengthen Putin's economic and political influence over the region.

The construction of Nord Stream 2 was completed last month. Germany's energy regulator has since said it has four months to complete certification of the project after receiving all necessary paperwork for an operating license.

— Sam Meredith

8:00 am: 'Utter nonsense': Putin says Russia is not using energy as a geopolitical weapon

VIDEO4:2604:26
Putin: Russia is not using energy as weapon

Russia's Putin says Moscow is not using natural gas as a geopolitical weapon, insisting that criticism over the country's role in Europe's deepening energy crisis is "politically motivated" and "utter nonsense."

"We are not using any weapons," Putin told CNBC's Hadley Gamble on Wednesday, according to a translation. "Even during the hardest parts of the Cold War, Russia regularly has fulfilled its contractual obligations and supplied gas to Europe."

Last month, in a rare public rebuke of Russia, the International Energy Agency called on Russia to send more gas to Europe to alleviate the region's deepening supply crunch.

Separately, the chief executive of Ukrainian state energy giant Naftogaz has previously accused Russia's Gazprom of using natural gas as a geopolitical weapon.

— Sam Meredith

7:40 am: Why are natural gas prices so high?

As Putin concludes his opening address to the plenary session of Russian Energy Week, here's a useful explainer on Europe's unfolding energy crisis.

VIDEO8:2308:23
Why natural gas prices are soaring

A perfect storm of bad news for energy markets has comprised of an eye-watering increase in natural gas prices, soaring coal and carbon costs, low wind output and predictions of a return to $100 oil.

Policymakers are trying to mitigate the impact on consumers and protect vulnerable households.

— Sam Meredith

7:35 am: Putin says Russia is ready to discuss additional steps to supply gas to Europe

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a plenary session of the Russian Energy Week International Forum in Moscow, Russia October 13, 2021.
Sergei Ilnitsky | Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday the country stands ready to discuss additional steps to supply natural gas to Europe, adding that he believes Moscow is on track to deliver record levels of gas to the global market by year-end.

Speaking on stage at Russian Energy Week, Putin said, according to a translation: "For any market, stability and predictability is important and Russia flawlessly fulfils its contractual obligations to our partners, including our partners in Europe."

"We ensure guaranteed, uninterrupted gas deliveries to Europe. We have all the reasons to believe that by the end of this year we will reach record levels of gas deliveries to the global market."

Putin said the country would be ready to discuss any additional steps to supply further gas deliveries to Europe, echoing comments from the Kremlin earlier in the day.

His comments come shortly before a CNBC-moderated panel on global energy, where Putin will be joined by BP CEO Bernard Looney, TotalEnergies CEO Patrick Pouyanne, ExxonMobil CEO Darren Woods and Daimler CEO Ola Kallenius.

— Sam Meredith

6:35 am: IEA's Birol says surging energy prices must not derail climate policy

The chief executive of the International Energy Agency told CNBC on Wednesday that surging energy prices must not derail the urgent need to significantly reduce worldwide fossil fuel use.

"High prices in coal, or gas, or in oil, they have nothing to do with the clean energy transition," Fatih Birol said. "I see that some say try to portray this current situation as the first crisis of the clean energy transition — which is incorrect."

He added: "If not addressed by the governments and others properly ... and if the real facts are not brought to the public, it may well be a significant barrier for further climate policy action."

His comments come just weeks ahead of a landmark international climate change summit due to be held in Glasgow, Scotland.

— Sam Meredith

6:05 am: Russia hits new record for daily Covid deaths as infections rise, vaccinations lag

Ahead of Putin's opening remarks at Russian Energy Week, a reminder of the country's Covid situation: Russia's daily Covid death toll on Tuesday notched another grim record.

CNBC's Holly Ellyatt has the story:

Russia's daily Covid death toll hits grim record as cases rise and vaccinations lag

— Sam Meredith

5:45 am: Russia says gas supplies to Europe are at maximum levels, any increase to be negotiated with Gazprom

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov on Wednesday said Russia was supplying gas to Europe at maximum levels under existing contracts, according to the TASS news agency.

Any potential increase in supply would need to be negotiated via Russia's state-owned energy giant Gazprom, Peskov said, adding Moscow stands ready to increase gas transit through Ukraine if the European Union increases purchases.

"We can say that Russia is flawlessly fulfilling all contractual obligations under the upper bar, that is, to the possible maximum, all volumes of supplies have been increased in the light of the contracts and agreements that exist," Peskov said, TASS reported.

— Sam Meredith

5:50 am: Putin to deliver opening remarks at Russian Energy Week

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a plenary session of the Russian Energy Week International Forum in Moscow, Russia October 13, 2021.
Sergey Guneev | Sputnik | Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday is scheduled to deliver a speech at the plenary session of the Russian Energy Week international forum in Moscow.

His opening remarks come ahead of a CNBC-moderated panel on global energy, where Putin will be joined by BP CEO Bernard Looney, TotalEnergies CEO Patrick Pouyanne, ExxonMobil CEO Darren Woods and Daimler CEO Ola Kallenius.

CNBC's Hadley Gamble is set to welcome the business leaders to the stage at around 1:00 p.m. Moscow time (6 a.m. ET), with Putin expected to speak for approximately 15 minutes thereafter.

— Sam Meredith