MOSCOW, April 18 (RIA Novosti/PRIME) – Russia’s second largest gas producer Novatek is considering purchasing assets for gas trading in Europe, the company’s head and co-owner Leonid Mikhelson told reporters Friday.
“As a gas company, we are interested in the European market in terms of operations,” Mikhelson said, adding that the company is interested, among other things, in the purchase of assets related to trade in gas.
Last week, in a letter to 18 European leaders, Russian President Vladimir Putin voiced concerns about Ukraine’s debt crisis that, he said, could lead to disruptions of gas supplies, which are routed through Ukraine from Russia to Europe.
The European Union has agreed with Russia that consultations should be held to ensure the uninterrupted flow of natural gas to Europe amid the crisis in Ukraine, according to an open letter by European Commission President José Manuel Barroso published Thursday.
In recent days, the dialogue on gas has faced difficulties as the European Parliament called on EU authorities to immediately impose sanctions on Russian energy providers in the European market.
Western countries have already introduced targeted sanctions against Russian politicians and businessmen, while warning of serious economic consequences for Moscow over its policies toward Ukraine. The West has refused to recognize Crimea’s reunification with Russia.
The Russian Foreign Ministry responded by saying that the language of sanctions was both inappropriate and counterproductive, stressing that the move showed the West’s reluctance to acknowledge reality in the region.