Moscow will focus on Asian markets despite EU requests to increase supply, Deputy Prime Minister Novak says © Getty Images/nimis69

Russian gas is still in high demand in the EU despite the bloc’s latest sanctions on the country’s energy exports, but Moscow intends to divert trade flows elsewhere, Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Novak said on Friday.

In an interview with the Russia24 channel, he noted that European “colleagues are constantly asking us to increase supplies” via existing infrastructure such as the TurkStream or Blue Stream pipelines and the Ukrainian gas transportation system, adding that the European market remains relevant for Russia.

But, given the current “political mood” in the EU to curb its dependence on Russian gas, Moscow is looking at other markets to redirect supplies, the official noted.

“Because our gas is in demand, it is cheap, we have large reserves, and we will develop these areas,” he added.

Russia will diversify trade flows by boosting liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies and pipeline gas deliveries to China, making Asia one of its key directions, Novak said, adding that the country has beefed up LNG production more than threefold.

“If earlier only 11 million tons [of LNG] were produced in Russia, today there are already four plants operating, with a total capacity of 36 million tons,” the minister stressed.

In the next three or four years Russia is set to boost LNG production to 60 million tons and then bring the figure up to 100 million tons annually, Novak projected.

He also reminded his interviewer that along with growing supplies via the Power of Siberia pipeline, Russia and China have an agreement to build gas infrastructure with a capacity to deliver an additional ten billion cubic meters annually.

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