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MOSCOW (Reuters) -President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday told the head of Kremlin-controlled energy giant Gazprom, Alexei Miller, to start pumping natural gas into European gas storage once Russia finishes filling its own stocks, which may happen by Nov. 8.
Gas markets in Asia and Europe have sky-rocketed this year, with benchmark Dutch gas hub spot prices jumping by 365% since the start of the year, fuelled by low inventories and surging demand as economies recover from the COVID-19 crisis.
"As soon as we finish pumping (gas) into the UGS (underground gas storage) in Russia, we will start pumping our Gazprom's gas into European UGS," Miller told Putin.
The Russian president said this would improve the situation on the European energy market.
Miller also told the televised government meeting that Gazprom would reach the planned level of more than 72.6 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas in domestic storage by Nov. 1, and would completely finish filling inventories by Nov. 8.
(Reporting by Vladimir SoldatkinEditing by Mark Potter)