WRAPUP 4 Russia Can Help Europe, Not Using Gas As A Weapon Says Putin

* Recovery from COVID-19 has led to surge in energy demand

* EU publishes a list of steps to tackle high energy prices

* Russia, Europe tussle over Nord Stream 2 pipeline

* Top coal-consumer China grappling with energy crisis

* Green energy needs $4 trln investment by 2030, IEA says

* U.S. heating bills likely to rise this winter - EIA

By Vladimir Soldatkin, Kate Abnett and Shivani Singh

MOSCOW/BRUSSELS/BEIJING, Oct 13 (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday Russia was not using gas as a weapon and was ready to help ease Europe's energy crunch as the EU called an emergency summit to tackle skyrocketing prices.

Energy demand has surged as economies have rebounded from the pandemic, driving up prices of oil, gas and coal, stoking inflationary pressures and undermining efforts to cut the use of polluting fossil fuels in the fight against global warming.

China, the world's second biggest economy and its biggest greenhouse gas emitter, has boosted coal output and imports, as domestic coal prices have hit record levels and power stations have struggled to keep the lights on https://www.reuters.com/world/china/china-coal-prices-hit-record-high-floods-add-supply-woes-2021-10-13 in homes and factories.

The energy crunch has amplified Wednesday's call by the International Energy Agency (IEA) for tripling investment https://www.reuters.com/business/sustainable-business/world-must-triple-clean-energy-investment-by-2030-curb-climate-change-iea-2021-10-13 in renewables to steady markets and fight climate change.

Europe's gas squeeze https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/gas-reserves-subsidies-tax-cuts-eus-tools-combat-energy-price-spike-2021-10-13 has shone a spotlight on Russia, which accounts for a third of the region's supplies, prompting European politicians to blame Moscow for not pumping enough.

Putin told an energy conference https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/kremlin-says-russian-gas-supplies-europe-are-maximum-levels-2021-10-13 in Moscow that the gas market was not balanced or predictable, particularly in Europe, but said Russia was meeting its contractual obligations to supply clients and was ready to boost supplies if asked.

He dismissed accusations that Russia was using energy as a weapon: "This is just politically motivated chatter, which has no basis whatsoever."

The European Union has not asked Russia to increase supplies of gas to the bloc, a European Commission official told Reuters.

Russia and Europe have been embroiled in a dispute over a new pipeline, Nord Stream 2, to supply Russian gas to Germany. The pipeline is built but awaits approval to start pumping, amid opposition from the United States and some Europeans nations that fear it will make Europe even more reliant on Russia.


Video: Putin: Russia is willing to increase gas supplies to Europe, but we need to know how much it wants (CNBC)

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