MOSCOW, April 29 (UPI) -- Russian energy company Gazprom said Tuesday its sales of gas to Europe and others in the region was up more than 15 percent in 2013.
Russia supplies about a quarter of the natural gas consumed in Europe, and most of that runs through a pipeline system in Ukraine, a former Soviet republic that's tilted toward the European Union since political conflict erupted in November.
Gazprom said in a report highlighting its financial results from 2013 that gas sales to Europe and other countries in the region totaled 6.1 trillion cubic feet, an increase of more than 15 percent from 2012.
European leaders have looked to rival suppliers in Azerbaijan in an effort to break Russia's grip on the region's energy supply.
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said following his meeting Monday with Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico a move to reverse gas flows from Slovakia to Ukraine was a positive step toward gas diversification.
Most of the gas sold by Gazprom in 2013 went to the Russian market, though those gas sales declined by 8.3 percent compared with 2012.
Gazprom said its profits for 2013 were down nearly 7 percent from the year prior.