The Russian president Thursday denied that Russia is provoking a gas crisis in Europe.
Speaking at an annual news conference in Moscow, Vladimir Putin said allegations against the Russian gas company Gazprom are "lies" and "an attempt to turn everything upside down."
A spike in the price of gas was caused by cold weather, under-injection to underground gas storages, non-working of wind turbines, and some other factors, the president said.
Putin said Russia is the only country that has been increasing gas deliveries to Europe, adding it transited additional 5.6 billion cubic meters of gas to Germany and 4.4 billion cubic meters to Italy.
Meanwhile, the US energy companies left the European market for "premium markets" in Latin America and Asia, where the gas prices are much higher, he said.
Explaining why Gazprom has not booked transit capacities through the Yamal-Europe pipeline, Putin said German and French companies had not submitted purchase orders and so there was no commercial reason to transit gas that no one would buy.
Putin also claimed that Germany is using the Yamal-Europe pipeline to pump fuel to Poland and probably to Ukraine, which makes it impossible to use the pipeline for transition as it cannot be used in two directions simultaneously.