European Commission put its gas coordination committee on alert today, but insisted the situation had not yet reached an emergency level since coordination between nations to help each other had improved and storage facilities had been upgraded.
Commission spokeswoman Marlene Holzner said Russia was going through an extremely cold spell and needed more gas to keep its citizens warm.
Russia's gas contracts 'allow for certain flexibility in case they also need the gas. And that is the situation that Russia is facing at the moment.' The severe winter in Russia has seen temperatures drop to minus 35 C (minus 30 F).