February 8, 2023

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Russia ready to resume gas supplies to Europe via Yamal-Europe pipeline – Reuters’ Novak

©Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Model of the natural gas pipeline, flags of the EU and Russia, July 18, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

(Reuters) – Moscow is ready to resume gas supplies to Europe via the Yamal-Europe pipeline, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak has told state news agency TASS.

“The European market remains relevant as gas shortages continue and we have every opportunity to resume deliveries,” TASS quoted Novak as saying in a note published by the agency on Sunday.

“For example, the Yamal-Europe pipeline, which was stopped for political reasons, remains unused.”

The Yamal-Europe pipeline normally flows west, but has mostly been reversed since December 2021, when Poland turned away from buying from Russia and instead resorted to stored gas in Germany.

In May, Warsaw canceled its deal with Russia after previously rejecting Moscow’s demand that it pay in rubles.

Russian supplier Gazprom (MCX:) responded by halting supplies and also said it could no longer export gas through Poland after Moscow imposed sanctions on the firm that owns the Polish section of the Yamal-Europe pipeline.

Novak also reiterated that after the creation of a hub there, Moscow is talking about additional gas supplies through Turkey.

He also said Moscow expects to have shipped 21 billion cubic meters (bcm) of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe by 2022.

“This year we were able to significantly increase LNG deliveries to Europe,” said Novak. “In the 11 months of 2022, they increased to 19.4 billion cubic meters, by the end of the year 21 billion cubic meters are expected.”

In a lengthy interview with TASS agency, parts of which were published throughout the weekend, Novak also said that Russia had agreed with Azerbaijan to increase gas supplies for its domestic consumption.

“In the future, when they increase gas production, we will be able to discuss trades,” he said.

Moscow is also talking about increasing supplies of its gas to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, he said.

Novak also said that Russia could send its natural gas to the markets of Afghanistan and Pakistan in the long term, either through Central Asia’s infrastructure or in exchange from Iran’s territory.

(Melbourne reporting by Lidia Kelly; editing by Leslie Adler, Nick Zieminski and Michael Perry)