Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev says that "we are slowly but surely approaching a second cold war." He also said that U.S. President Barack Obama could be "more tactful politically" and that he's disappointed in some of the decisions Obama has made.
"Yes, I believe that President Obama could be more tactful politically when discussing these issues. Some decisions taken by the US Administration are disappointing. We have indeed done a lot for Russian-US relations. I believe doing so was right. The agreements that we reached with America were useful. And I'm very sorry that everything that has been achieved is now being eliminated by these decisions. Basically, we are slowly but surely approaching a second cold war that nobody needs. Why am I saying this? Because a competent politician knows how to make reserved, careful, subtle, wise and intelligent decisions, which, I believe, Mr Obama succeeded at for a while. But what is being done now, unfortunately, proves that the US Administration has run out of these resources. And the United States is one of the parties to suffer from this," Medvedev said, according to excerpts of a partial transcript provided by Bloomberg Television.
Medvedev made the comments in an interview with Bloomberg Television:
Here's the excerpts provided by Bloomberg:
On Russian gas supplies to Western Europe:
Dmitri Medvedev: First off, every country or group of countries, including the European Union, has the right to diversify their source of supply. That is true. But we don't attach much importance to that simply because, so far, there's no viable alternative in sight to Russian supplies. We just happen to think that we, as a major energy-supplying power, should have an opportunity to deliver gas not only to Europe -- but also to Asia. We benefit from that. I wouldn't look for any politics in that, but I have no doubt that supplying energy to the Asia Pacific region holds great promise in the future. More than that, we have enough capacity and enough gas to send supplies via both the eastern and the western routes. But even if we look at the worst case scenario - purely theoretically - any undelivered European gas supplies can be sent to China by the eastern route. But that, let me stress the point again, is so far an absolutely theoretical possibility.
Ryan Chilcote: If western Europe was to move away from Russian supplies...
Dmitry Medvedev: You know, all this talk is absolutely abstract or politicised. Some of our partners, including in the USA, say: "We'll help you guys in Europe with LNG." OK. Let them give us the calculations. As far as I understand, even if this is done on a very balanced basis, the price of LNG supplied from the United States of America would be 40% more expensive than the Russian pipeline gas.
More on European gas supplies:
Dmitry Medvedev: Frankly, we, and I mean across the Russian Government, have no desire at all to help the Ukrainian authorities because we do not consider the current authorities to be legitimate and because they have not shown themselves to be honest and sincere partners. But it pains us to see what is happening in Ukraine and what is happening with the people residing in that country. So, in that sense, we're prepared to discuss any collaboration even as a humanitarian act, but in order for that to happen it's necessary for them to demonstrate a serious intention to cooperate, and the intention to pay.
Ryan Chilcote: Can Western Europe count on getting all of the Russian gas that they're expecting to get this year?