Last updated: 23 September, 2014

Qatar says it won’t do much to help Europe get rid of gas dependence on Russia

Wealthy gas producer Qatar has no plans to pitch in as an alternative supplier as Europe seeks to reduce its reliance on Russian gas, Doha's energy minister told a German newspaper Tuesday.

“Qatar doesn’t see itself as an alternative to other producers and exporters. We producers complement each other,” Energy Minister Mohammed al-Sada told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung daily.

Qatar is the world’s largest producer of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

“We know that energy is not just a commercial product but a very strategic one and we know what responsibility a producer therefore has,” he added.

The European Union is due to hold a fresh round of talks with Russia and Ukraine in Berlin on Friday in a bid to settle an ongoing dispute over gas deliveries.

Europe gets more than 30 percent of its gas from Russia, with half of that transiting through Ukraine, but in June Moscow cut off supplies intended for Kiev amid a bitter price dispute.

For now, gas is continuing to flow as normal through Ukraine into the EU, but Russia has warned there was a high risk of disruption of deliveries to Europe this winter as international tensions remain high over the Ukraine crisis.

Europe does not have the infrastructure to accept LNG in major quantities.