The pipeline has a number of prominent critics, including the U.S. as well as Eastern European countries Poland and Ukraine, who say the pipeline increases Europe's dependence on Russian energy supplies and weakens the region in terms of energy security.
Fast forward to today, and Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday that Russia was supplying gas to Europe at maximum levels under existing contracts, according to the Tass news agency. He noted Moscow was ready to increase gas transit through Ukraine if the EU boosted its purchases.
Russia is the third-largest producer of fossil fuels globally and it accounts for just more than 40% of the EU's gas imports every year, according to the latest data from Eurostat.
Given Russia's role as one of the world's main energy exporters, it is in a position of both strength and weakness. While Russia can (and does) use its resources to bolster government revenue, the global transition away from fossil fuels to greener energies and technologies means that it could find increasingly smaller demand for its resources in future.
Putin, who has been in power in Russia for more than 20 years, alternating between the role of president and prime minister, finds himself at the helm amid this wider global transition.
Source : https://www.cnbc.com/2021/10/13/putin-says-russia-is-not-using-gas-as-a-weapon-is-ready-to-help-europe.html227