Russia to increase gas supplies to Europe — Putin

Russia desires to increase its gas exports to Europe — currently estimated at 70 billion cubic meter per quarter a year.

Putin, speaking at a news conference with his Austrian counterpart Alexander Van der Bellen, said the additional supplies would be through the new pipeline, due to be constructed by a consortium of Russian and European companies.

For his part, President der Bellen, said the Russian liquefied gas could not be substituted with the American gas because of higher costs.

On western sanctions on Russia, Putin said the curbs harmed interests of both sides, expressing his belief that bulk of the European states desired lifting these punitive measures on Moscow.

Elaborating, Putin said the Russian economy tangibly recovered, where inflation stood at 2.5 percent, in addition to noticeable growth in the hard currencies’ reserves.

On relations with Austria, Putin says his nation comes after Germany with respect of investments in Austria; with businesses estimated at euro 25 billion. Moreover, Russia with a population of 145 million is a major market for European products.

Russian-Austrian trade exchanges climbed, last year, by 45 percent and rose by 100 percent this year.

Putin arrived here earlier on Tuesday on his first visit to a European country since he was re-elected.

His visit marked 50th anniversary of beginning of the export of domestic gas to Austria and Europe in general.

Source: Kuwait News Agency