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MOSCOW, February 22 (RIA Novosti) - Russia’s national gas market should be Gazprom’s priority, President Vladimir Putin said in remarks at a Kremlin ceremony marking the Russian energy giant’s 20th anniversary.
“It is important not only to ensure uninterrupted gas exports,” Putin said Thursday. “Our domestic consumers are also entitled to count on reliable gas supplies.”
“The domestic, national market should always be priority number one for you, just as the interests of our nationals, industrialists, businesses,” the president said at the Kremlin gala evening.
“In recent years, gas services have been provided to 3,000 villages and settlements,” Putin said, adding that work should be boosted.
Gazprom is the world’s largest gas producer. It provides for about 25 percent of the European Union’s gas needs.
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The clash of Russian and Western interests has given rise to a geopolitical battle. German politicians are trying to leave all doors and windows open for dialogue with Russia. Moscow does acknowledge this, and Germany is probably the only country with which it is ready to discuss European security.