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MOSCOW, May 24 /ITAR-TASS/. The European countries should use a calculator to see whose natural gas is more beneficial for them to buy, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told the Vesti v Subbotu (News on Saturday) TV programme.
“They always come with new ideas” where they could buy gas, even ready to import liquefied natural gas from overseas, said Medvedev. But a simple calculation would show whether the European economy would endure that and how much such gas supplies would cost, he added.
Natural gas imports from the U.S., according to Medvedev, would cost Europe 40-50% more than Russian gas.
“But the main thing is that you need to arrange supplies,” Medvedev said. The U.S. search for new sales markets is comprehensible, but the Europeans behave strangely, he believes: “Why stand in their own light?”
Europe should appreciate long-term relations as Russia does it: “Our gas relations with Europe are imperishable. We appreciate them as this is a very large and important market for us.”
This, however, did not mean Russia would always do the same thing, and as it is developing and expanding, it could seek other markets seeing nothing shameful in that, he said.
Speaking of the EU plans to diversify gas supplies, Medvedev said it was also Russia’s aspiration, and negotiations with Asian partners had been held exactly for this purpose.
“Asia Pacific is the largest and the most briskly developing market... and could become the major market for Russia,” Medvedev said.
The long expected deal with “the Chinese friends” is “a big success”, believes Medvedev. The contract with China ensured Russia’s stability given the present relations with Europe and the EU, and “we pivot both sides and stand on our own legs”, said the Prime Minister.