Russia may resume spot gas sales after it completes filling its storage reserves, which would ease price pressures in Europe, according to Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak.
Novak did not specify when or in what quantities such sales might occur, but the government has stated that it intends to keep topping up domestic inventories until Nov. 1.
"If such opportunities exist, certainly," he said when asked if Russia could resume spot sales once reserves were filled.
Novak's remarks follow pressure for Russia to increase gas shipments to Europe, where prices have surged this year, increasing household bills and impacting industrial users.
Critics have accused Moscow of intentionally withholding supplies to exert political pressure and gain regulatory approval for the recently constructed Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which will double the amount of gas it can ship across the Baltic Sea to Germany. However, Russia denied this and mentioned its contracted agreements are being met, which was confirmed by major European customers.
The idea that Moscow is using energy as a weapon is "nonsense," said Russian President Vladimir Putin, who also stated that Russia was ready to supply more gas to Europe if requested.