Russian President Vladimir Putin said the "ball is in the court" of the European Union, after declaring that he's prepared to resume gas supplies to Europe via a link of the Germany-bound Nord Stream 2 pipeline under the Baltic Sea.
"Russia is ready for the start of deliveries. The ball is in the EU's court. If they want to, then the taps can be turned on, and that's that," Putin said.
Speaking at the Moscow energy forum on Wednesday, Russia's leader accused the US of being behind the explosions that caused the gas leaks on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 on 30 September. He said the US wants to weaken Europe -- and force the bloc to turn to American gas companies.
"There is no doubt that this is an act of international terrorism, the purpose of which is to undermine the energy security of the entire continent".
"The logic is cynical --to destroy, block sources of cheap energy, deprive millions of people, industrial consumers of gas, heat, electricity, and other resources and force them to buy all this at much higher prices. To force".
Washington has denied the allegations.
An investigation is underway into explosions last month that ruptured the Russian-built pipelines on the bed of the Baltic Sea. Europe suspects an act of sabotage that Moscow quickly sought to blame on the West.
Russia's war against Ukraine has driven a major effort by the EU and other European countries to ditch their reliance on Russian oil and gas and seek out alternative suppliers.
EU energy ministers met in Prague on Wednesday to try to agree new measures to tackle the energy crisis, and leaders are expected to sign off on new measures next week.