Energy giant Gazprom today warned the European Union that its energy markets could be plunged into crisis unless Brussels revises its “contradictory” energy prices.
Energy companies have been forced to make deep cost cuts in order to weather the global commodity price rout which started around 18 months ago.
Speaking at a conference in Vienna, the Russian state-owned company chairman, Viktor Zubkov, said under investment could store up problems for gas markets in the future.
"There are actually only quite a few countries that can continue their investment when prices are as low as they are now. In the future, when there won't be enough investments for 2017-18 there might be huge problems on the gas market," he said.
Russia has endured worsening relations with the West, in the wake of its annexation of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula and the imposition of sanctions by the EU and the United States.
Zubkov called on the EU to balance the long-term interests of market participants because “we don't know how long prices will be as low as they are now”. He expects Russian gas prices in Europe to fall by more than a third in the first quarter.