PARIS — Patrick Pouyanné, CEO of French energy giant TotalEnergies, said that his group cannot pull the plug on Russian gas, especially as EU capitals have not decided to stop importing it.
“At this stage European governments have not decided to sanction Russian gas because we need it. Why would you want me, TotalEnergies, to stop Russian gas even if I cannot replace it?” Pouyanné told French radio RTL on Wednesday.
TotalEnergies on Tuesday announced it would stop buying Russian oil and petroleum products by the end of this year, but didn’t announce similar measures on gas purchases. TotalEnergies is also holding on to its stakes in Russian gas companies including liquefied natural gas joint ventures. Over the past weeks, the company has been criticized by NGOs and Green presidential candidate Yannick Jadot for not leaving Russia right away as some of his international competitors did.
“I’ll be very clear: if I decide to stop importing Russian gas, I don’t know how to replace it,” Pouyanné said, noting that European consumers would find themselves without gas.
Pouyanné also said that, should the EU decide to ban imports of Russian gas as a sanction against Moscow, his group would comply with that decision.