The Kremlin said on Thursday that Russia has the potential to boost natural gas supplies to Europe, where rising gas prices have increased pressure on consumers.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said existing gas transit routes allow increased supplies ahead of the new Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which aims to begin bringing Russian gas to Germany.
“There is a potential,” Peskov said during a conference call with reporters. “It all depends on demand, contractual obligations and commercial agreements.”
Europe’s rising gas prices fell on Thursday, a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested his country could sell more gas to European spot buyers through its domestic market in addition to existing long-term contracts.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on Wednesday that the launch of Nord Stream 2 would bring rapid stability to European energy markets, a statement seen by some in Europe to prompt regulators to move swiftly to certify the new pipeline. seen as an effort.
Asked about Novak’s remarks, Peskov said Russia could increase supplies on existing routes.
Speaking during Wednesday’s government meeting on energy issues, Putin said rapidly rising demand amid a global economic recovery from the pandemic has driven Europe’s rising gas prices. He said severe winters and low power generation from alternative sources were also factors.
But the Russian leader said the EU’s efforts to switch from long-term supply contracts to spot trading in gas played a key role.
“I would like to underline that the state of European energy markets is a bright example of the unacceptability of hasty and politically motivated steps in any sector, especially in energy issues that threaten the sustainability of industries and the welfare and lives of millions of people. determine the quality,” Putin said.
He strongly rejected criticism from some European politicians who alleged that Russia’s failure to boost supplies was fueling a rise in prices.
“Russia has always been a reliable gas supplier to consumers around the world, in Europe and Asia, and has always fully met all its obligations. I want to emphasize that,” said Putin.
Putin stressed that Russian gas supplies to Europe in the first nine months of the year grew 15% compared to the same period in 2020, and said they could set a new record this year.
The Russian leader also rejected Ukraine’s claim that Moscow was trying to cut off supplies through Ukrainian territory in anticipation of the Nord Stream 2 coming into service. Putin said Russia pumped 8% more gas through Ukraine than it had in the current transit contract.
He said Russia could sell more gas to European spot buyers through its country’s domestic exchange, noting that sharp price volatility is bad for Moscow as well.
But he added that Russia’s state-controlled gas giant Gazprom also needs to fill its own stores to meet domestic needs in anticipation of winter.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /