With soaring energy prices, Russian gas exports to Europe have been in focus amid a standoff between Russia and the West over border tensions with Ukraine.

Moscow has denied the accusations and Gazprom has said it has fulfilled European contracts in full.
Moscow has denied the accusations and Gazprom has said it has fulfilled European contracts in full. (Reuters)

Russia is contributing to an undersupply of natural gas to Europe, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has said.

"We believe there are strong elements of tightness in Europe's gas markets due to Russia's behaviour," the IEA head Fatih Birol told reporters on Wednesday.

"Today's low Russian gas flows to Europe coincide with heightened geopolitical tensions over Ukraine," he noted.

The Paris-based IEA, energy watchdog for developed countries, warned that the high energy prices and consumer pain wrought by the gas crunch makes the case for future mandatory storage quotas for European companies.

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Gazprom exports decline

Russian gas company Gazprom reduced exports to Europe by 25 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2021 despite high market prices and reduced spot sales while other exporters boosted them, Birol said.

"The current storage deficit in the European Union is largely due to Gazprom," he added. 

"The low levels of storage in company's EU-based facilities account for half of the EU storage deficit although Gazprom facilities only constitute 10 percent of the EU's total storage capacity."

Some European Union lawmakers have accused Russia, which supplies more than 30 percent of the bloc's natural gas, of using the crisis as leverage while Russia and NATO hold talks in Brussels on Wednesday.

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies