Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday called for diversification of energy exports toward Asia, while accusing European countries of destabilising the market by moving to cut out Russian deliveries.

“We need to diversify exports,” Putin said at a televised government meeting on the energy sector.

“We need to proceed on the basis that in the foreseeable future, supplies of energy to the West will be reduced,” he acknowledged, as Western countries have announced measures to ban or reduce the use of Russian oil, gas and coal due to Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine.

Russia should continue the direction it has taken in recent years and “step by step shift the direction of our exports to the fast-growing markets of the south and east,” Putin added.

He criticised European countries for moves to stop using Russian energy, saying they “constantly talk about stopping using Russian supplies, thereby further destabilising the market and by their own actions pushing up prices, primarily for their own citizens.”

“Attempts by Western countries to push out Russian suppliers, replace our energy resources with alternative deliveries, will inevitably affect the whole global economy,” Putin said.

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