Croatia is one of the EU member countries that would feel the fewest consequences if Russian gas supply was to be cut off thanks to its LNG terminal on Krk island, Economy and Sustainable Development Minister Davor Filipović this week.
"In the event of such a situation, we would be among the best prepared EU countries," he said after a meeting of EU energy ministers.
It was Filipović's first meeting at the Council of the EU after he succeeded Tomislav Ćorić.
Filipović said that Croatia had already increased the capacity of the LNG terminal on Krk from 2.6 to 2.9 billion cubic metres of gas and that it was willing to increase it additionally with the help of European partners.
The minister announced that the state would fill the underground gas storage facility Okoli to enhance gas supply security.
Filipović would not comment on the sixth package of EU sanctions against Russia, which could include a ban on Russian gas imports.
"I would not want to comment before it is published," he said.
As for Russia's demand that the EU pay for its gas in roubles, Filipović said that the member states wanted clearer instructions from the European Commission in that regard.
Russia last week suspended gas supply for Poland and Bulgaria, explaining that they had refused to pay for the gas in roubles.
By demanding that its gas be paid for in roubles, Moscow has to some extent managed to divide the EU because some of the countries are willing to accept the demand to open a rouble account to pay for gas deliveries. The EC has stressed that this constitutes bypassing of EU sanctions against Russia.
Filipović said that EU energy ministers underlined that it would be good to launch joint gas procurement at EU level to help reduce gas prices and that Croatia supported that view.