Putin says Russia should ditch petrol in favor of natural gas fuel

Russia should follow the lead of Gazprom and have more cars running on natural gas instead of traditional gasoline, according to President Vladimir Putin. It is cheaper and more eco-friendly, he said.

“Gas fuel is, of course, more environmentally friendly. And we have great competitive advantages in this because we have enough of this fuel. More oil and petroleum products can be sold on the foreign market, as it is more profitable than gas sales,” Putin said on Thursday, speaking at a meeting dedicated to the development of Russia's regions.

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Putin also pointed at Gazprom as an example of how gas fuel saves money. When the company switched to gas fuel, many of its drivers retired because they no longer had an opportunity to steal gasoline.

The president was referring to drivers working for state companies who commonly fill up using corporate credit cards, then siphoned and resold the petrol to other drivers.

“And what about the army? What is happening in the Ministry of Defense and in other departments? I think comments are needless,” said the Russian president, apparently hinting at the same practice.

“Natural gas fuel will have a huge positive economic effect and will create competitive advantages for the whole economy. Therefore, it is necessary to continue, of course, to support its development, both at the governmental level and at the regional,” Putin added.

Gazprom sells two types of natural gas fuel: compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG). CNG is used for passenger and light cargo vans, motor cars, and municipal vehicles. LNG is for big trucks, railway and water transport, quarry machinery and agricultural equipment.

“Natural gas is the most economical, eco-friendly and safe type of fuel available today,” claims Gazprom.

The world's biggest automaker, Volkswagen, announced in May it is in talks with Gazprom to back its efforts to promote cars running on natural gas.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section

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