MOSCOW, December 29. /TASS/. The gas crisis in Europe can be ended only by growing supply to meet the rising demand but it is not possible to predict when this will take place, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said in an interview with RBC posted on Wednesday.
"It is difficult to say when the high prices period will end. In my opinion, there must be a gas supply covering the demand in Europe in full scope. Appropriate reserves in underground gas storages must be created, required to reliably pass through the winter season. If the greater portion of consumption in Europe is supported on account of long-term deliveries from Russia, Algeria, and Norway, then the situation with prices will be more stable," Novak said.
"One of the reasons for the energy crisis in Europe is lack of planning," the official said. European politicians placed too many hopes on the market, "on spot gas deliveries, which are present today and missing tomorrow," he noted.
Russia is physically ready to increase gas production and export, Novak said. "The resource base available in Russia makes it possible to meet demands of European consumers in any volumes," he noted. At the same time, Gazprom "needs long-term contracts because huge investments are required to scale up production, with the payback during the long term," the official said.