President Barack Obama has warned Russia not to buy American natural gas, and warned that any American firm that does so would be violating the pact it signed with the US in 2014.

“It’s a big deal.

It’s a deal that affects the United States,” Mr Obama told reporters on Wednesday.

“We’re not going to be importing Russian gas.

If it comes, we’re going to have to deal with it.”

Russian gas exports to Europe have plummeted in recent years, as the price of natural gas has risen dramatically.

In July, the European Commission suspended exports of Russian gas to the continent amid concerns it would not comply with the EU’s climate change targets.

Mr Obama’s comments followed calls from Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Democrats for a ban on Russia buying American natural fuel.

US sanctions on Russia and other countries with ties to Moscow have increased as Russia has stepped up military spending, including in Ukraine and Syria.

Mr Trump has said he would like to see US energy supplies cut to support Russian energy exports.

Russia has said its imports from the US will increase, but Mr Trump said last week he would prefer to see Russia to buy US natural gas in the future.

He said in the same interview that it was a “bad deal” for the US, but said he was “not going to put up with” it.