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MOSCOW, November 20 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s natural gas exports are expected to fall 4-5 percent in 2012 as the lingering eurozone debt crisis weakens demand for Russian commodities exports, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Tuesday.
“Last year, gas exports grew by about 20 billion cubic meters while this year the outlook has been adjusted following the results of the first nine months of 2012, and objective economic difficulties in European countries and the quick recovery of supplies from Libya are having their impact and we expect gas exports from Russia to decline 4-5 percent from last year,” Novak told the Russia Gas 2012 forum.
Russia’s gas exports grew by 7 percent year-on-year in 2011 to 196.862 billion cubic meters, according to statistics agency Rosstat.
The Economic Development Ministry expects the country’s gas production in 2012 to increase by 4.2 percent, year-on-year, taking into account recent growing demand for natural gas on the domestic market.
Gazprom Deputy CEO Vitaly Markelov said on Tuesday the gas monopoly expected natural gas output in 2012 of 525 billion cubic meters.
In 2011, Gazprom’s output grew by 0.9 percent from the previous year to 513.2 billion cubic meters. In January-October 2012, Gazprom’s gas production contracted by 5.9 percent to 391.326 billion cubic meters, according to the fuel and energy sector’s central dispatch office.
Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said in October Gazprom’s gas output in 2012 would depend on demand in Europe in November-December 2012, adding Europe was braced for a cold winter spell.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.