UPDATE 1-Russia's Putin: Changing gas deals would hurt energy security
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MOSCOW, July 1 (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin on Monday defended the long-term supply deals under which Russia exports the bulk of its natural gas, saying abandoning them would undermine global energy security.
Addressing a summit of gas exporting nations, Putin repudiated pressure to loosen the oil price link and scrap so-called take-or-pay requirements under which state gas export monopoly Gazprom supplies gas to foreign buyers.
"What we are talking about, above all, are attempts to dictate economic terms that are unacceptable to producers of gas delivered by pipeline," Putin told leaders from the 13-member Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) in the Kremlin.
"Unfortunately, the advocates of such a policy do not understand that abandoning the fundamental principles of long-term contracts would not only inflict a blow on gas producers but also bring with them significant costs.
"In the final analysis, this would undermine the energy security of buyers."
Russia hosted the summit in the hope of rallying the group around its defence of Gazprom's export business, but it is other members of the group - led by Qatar - that have grabbed market share by supplying cheaper liquefied natural gas to Europe.
Founded more than a decade ago, the GECF has drawn comparisons with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries but failed to show the type of cohesion that has made the oil export cartel capable of influencing global markets.
Also hindering cooperation are simmering tensions between Russia and some Gulf Arab gas producers over Putin's support for President Bashar Al-Assad in Syria's civil war.
(Reporting by Alexei Anishchuk; Writing by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Steve Gutterman)