Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Saturday that Gazprom should take great effort to ensure natural gas exports to Europe, which is experiencing an extremely cold snap.
Faced with severe weather conditions, some EU states complained earlier this week that they are receiving less gas from Russia that expected, however, Gazprom, which supplies a quarter of Europe's gas imports, said it is delivering as much gas as it can under current contracts.
“I am asking you to make a real effort to supply the demands of our foreign partners given that the top priority of our energy companies, including Gazprom, is to supply Russian customers,” Putin said at a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin and Gazprom Deputy Chairmen, Alexander Medvedev and Andrei Kruglov.
Kruglov told the premier that Gazprom could not increase gas deliveries to Europe, which is hit by record low temperatures.
According to European Commission spokeswoman Marlene Holzner, Russia reduced gas deliveries to nine European countries as of Wednesday and EU states have imported gas from other suppliers and use stored volume.
“Today, we should recall those who were preventing us from building the Nord Stream pipeline. But for them, the second leg [of the pipeline] would have already been put into operation,” Putin said.