Russian President Vladimir Putin has urged “reform of international energy institutions” at the G20 Summit in Brisbane, Australia on Sunday.
“The discussion on initiating reform of international energy institutions is extremely important. This is all the more true when geography of energy supply is changing considerably and structural changes in the global energy system are taking place, and so of course we need new institutions to regulate this crucial area of activity,” Putin said.
Russia is of the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas, and its energy sector represents nearly a third of its GDP, and about half of federal government revenues.
Russia has signed massive new deals with China this year that mark a shift away from traditional European markets for Russian gas.
Earlier last week, Presidents Putin and Xi Jinping signed an agreement on the delivery of Russian natural gas to China via the western route, securing the world’s top energy user a major source of cleaner fuel. The western route refers to gas supplies to China from Russian fields in West Siberia.
The route to supply gas to China via the western route may be implemented faster than the eastern route, through which Moscow agreed to ship the fuel to its Asian neighbor in May, according to Gazprom’s CEO Alexei Miller.
Meanwhile, faced with pressures from Western nations at the Brisbane summit – over Russia’s alleged military involvement in Ukraine- Putin has warned that Western sanctions against his country could backfire.
The G20 summit’s second day had two working, one on ensuring the global economy’s sustained development and one on reforming the international energy architecture.
Putin told a German broadcaster on Sunday that barring Russian access to capital markets would hurt Western exports.
He added that Ukraine, the very country that the Western allies are trying to help, could also fall victim to the sanctions, as damaged Russian banks could start to demand repayment of the loans they have given to Ukraine.
Putin has already announced he will not demand early repayment of the $3 billion loan that Russia lent to Ukraine last year.
“Of course we expect the situation to change for the better. Of course we expect the Ukrainian crisis to end. And of course we want to have relations with our partners, including the United States and Europe. And of course what is happening with these so called sanctions is harmful for the world economy, harmful both for us and for the world economy, first of all for Russia-EU relations,” he said.
Meanwhile, G20 leaders also held discussions on financial regulation and the tax system, which were priorities too at the G20 summit in St Petersburg in Russia last year.
The Group of 20 leaders on Sunday discussed global tax evasion issues, reduction of the tax base, and fighting offshores.
Russia’s BRICS partner China will host the G20 Presidency in 2016, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced on Sunday.