MOSCOW Reuters - Russia's gas consumption is now a record high, but Moscow is still ready to increase supplies to Europe should it receive such requests, said Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak on Saturday.
The European spot gas prices have surged by 800% this year as demand recovered after the coronavirus pandemic. Prices eased earlier this month after Russia, Europe's key gas supplier, said it could deliver more, but these supplies have yet to materialise.
I want to underline that we in Russia have record high gas consumption figures this year, which is also due to active economic recovery, Novak said in an interview with Rossiya 1 TV channel broadcast, according to Russian news agencies.
Russia, whose exports and production to EU are already near record highs, has said it needs to finish filling its own gas storage reserves before it expands supplies to France's "Europe" spot market. Novak did not say how large the European gas reserves were, but estimated that Russia's underground facilities were short of about 25 billion cubic metres of gas.
He insisted such demand would not stop Russia with more supply partners for Europe if it gets such requests.