0209 GMT November 27, 2021
European spot gas prices have surged by 800% this year as demand has recovered after the coronavirus pandemic. Prices eased earlier this month after Russia, Europe's key gas supplier, said it could deliver more, but these supplies have yet to materialize, Reuters reported.
"I want to underline that we in Russia have record high gas consumption figures this year, which is also due to active economic recovery," Novak said in an interview with the Rossiya 1 TV channel broadcast, according to Russian news agencies.
Russia, whose gas production and exports to EU are already near record highs, has said it needs to finish filling its own gas storage reserves before it increases supplies to Europe's spot market. It plans to complete this by end-October.
Novak did not say how large Russia's gas reserves were but estimated that European underground facilities were short of around 25 billion cubic metres of gas.
He insisted high domestic demand would not stop Russia offering more supplies to Europe if it received such requests.