MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin has defended the tough terms for Russian gas exports that have alienated many European clients.
Russia has for years sold gas to Europe, its biggest export region, on long-term contracts in which the price is linked to crude oil. The contracts also require the importing country to buy a certain amount of gas. Even if it doesn't import the full amount, it still has to pay for it.
Putin, who on Monday chaired a conference of the world's largest gas exporters including Qatar and Algeria, used the occasion to reaffirm Russia's position. Putin insisted the state-owned gas monopoly Gazprom wouldn't be able to afford major exploration and pipeline projects if it didn't sign long-term contracts.
Some of Gazprom's European clients have sought discounts in court.