Radio Free Europe

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Russia To Increase Gas Supplies To Europe Starting Next Month.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has told state-controlled energy giant Gazprom to start pumping natural gas into European gas storage facilities once Russia finishes filling its own stocks, which could happen by November 8.
Gas markets in Europe and elsewhere have reached record levels in recent weeks, fueled by low inventories and a strong recovery in demand as economies emerge from the coronavirus crisis. Russia, Europe’s single largest supplier, has been accused by some analysts and European officials of exacerbating the energy crisis on the continent. During a televised meeting on October 27, Putin told Gazprom CEO Aleksei Miller to finish filling underground gas storage facilities in Russia by November 8, and to then "start gradually increasing the volume of gas” in the company’s storage facilities in Austria and Germany. This timeline would make it possible for Gazprom to "fulfil your contractual obligations to supply European partners with gas in the autumn-winter period," according to the Russian leader. Inventories in Europe are entering the winter heating season with the lowest seasonal level in nearly a decade. Speaking at an energy conference in Moscow on October 13, Putin defended the reliability of Russia's natural-gas exports to Europe and rejected accusations that it was using energy exports as a political tool.

With reporting by Bloomberg and AFP

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