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

“We need to proceed on the basis that in the foreseeable future, supplies of energy to the West will be reduced,” he said at a televised government meeting on the energy sector.

“We need to diversify exports,” he added.

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.

Putin said Russia should continue in 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”.

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.

Speaking at the end of the meeting, Putin said Russia will expand gas supplies across on its domestic market.

“The tasks are quite specific: wherever possible, gas, either piped or liquefied, should reach its consumer,” Putin said.

He also called for the acceleration of infrastructure projects, such as railways, pipelines and ports, that will redirect oil and gas supplies from the West to “promising” markets in the East and South.

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