Russia is the optimal natural gas supplier to European markets given the amount and distance of Russian supplies, President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday.
Russia is ready to compete with any gas suppliers as Russian supplies are the most advantageous to European countries, Putin said at a press conference following talks with visiting Finnish President Sauli Niinisto in Sochi.
Putin said that the volumes of natural gas consumption in Europe are rising and Russia had to increase shipments to the European Union by nearly 13 percent last year.
At the same time, Europe's own gas resources in Norway and Britain are dwindling, which has been proven by experts, he said.
Russia is building the Nord (North) Stream 2 gas pipeline by linking Russia and Germany via the Baltic seabed, bypassing Ukraine, Belarus, Poland and other eastern European and Baltic countries.
Washington claimed that the construction of the pipeline will make European countries dependent on Russia, while Moscow said that in reality the United States aimed to boost its liquefied natural gas exports to Europe.
At talks last week in Germany, Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed that the Nord Stream 2 project must not be politicized.