Russian TV mocks ‘opulent’ Queen’s platinum jubilee, warns UK to ‘brace for power cuts’

A Russian state TV channel has mocked the Queen’s platinum jubilee, claiming that Britain has “found the money for an opulent celebration” in the middle of an energy crisis, local media reports said.

A bulletin aired by the Kremlin-affiliated broadcaster Rossiya 1 said that the event was merely a distraction from Downing Street party scandals and a decline in living standards due to sanctions against Russia, reports Daily Mail.

“The reign of Elizabeth II has seen the final collapse of the British empire,” the news channel purportedly said.

Rossiya-1 said that the former colonies in the Caribbean have taken an anti-British stance, with demands for apologies and reparations for slavery.

“The imperial functions of the Anglo-Saxon world long ago passed to the United States, even though Boris Johnson is trying to revive British influence on the European continent by actively interfering in events in Ukraine,” it said.

“[The aim is to] deflect attention from domestic problems like Downing Street parties during the lockdown and a general decline in living standards.”

The UK has been facing one of its worst energy crises on the back of soaring gas prices due to high demand as economies reopened from their pandemic lockdowns and over supply crunch due to the Russia-Ukraine war.

Even though UK’s dependence on Russia’s gas supplies is less compared to other European countries, its gas sources have become expensive due to the war.

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Russia supplies about a third of Europe’s gas via a complex network of pipelines that run through Ukraine, Belarus and Poland to Germany. From Germany, pipelines carry gas to the rest of western Europe and through to the UK.

Also read | Spring Statement 2022: UK confronts cost of living crisis with inflation-fighting budget

About half of the UK’s gas requirements come from the North Sea, while another third is sourced from Norway. The rest is imported by pipelines connecting the UK to Europe.

Since UK’s market is closely connected to markets in Europe, a price rise in Germany or the Netherlands would have a cascading effect on Britain.

Soaring gas and electricity prices have left millions of people facing the worst cost-of-living crisis in 30 years. The country’s energy regulator, Ofgem, lifted its price cap — the maximum suppliers can charge customers per unit of energy — by a staggering 54 per cent at the start of April, raising energy bills for about 22 million households to around £2,000 ($2,616) a year.

The cap is likely to go even higher in October, piling more pain on consumers.

(With inputs from agencies)


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