Interview with Frank Schauff

Frank Schauff, the Head of the Association of European Businesses in Russia shared with RT's Business Today his views on the recent proposals of the EU to block foreign energy suppliers from buying EU’s gas and electricity networks.

Russia Today: Do you believe the EU's proposals are too severe?

Frank Schauff: From our point of view it is not helpful to have moves in the direction of protectionism from both sides. We are certainly looking into what the Eurocommission is doing now. We will also discuss it in Brussels. If we have the impression it would be too severe we will certainly address it. What we would not like to have, neither from the Russian side nor from the European side, are the moves towards protectionism. We will speak out against it on both sides.

RT: Some are saying that the EU is reacting to Russia's refusal to sign the Energy Charter. Do you see the EU and Russia becoming embroiled in a battle over energy?

F.S.: This has nothing to do with the Energy Charter. It is a different discussion. It has indeed to do with the unbundling of the energy networks in Europe itself. It also has mostly to do with the discussions between the Eurocommission, national governments and energy enterprises in Europe, but it does not aim at Gazprom or any other Russian energy supplier at all.

RT: The EU says its position is based on protecting Europe's energy security but isn't it dangerous for the EU economy to essentially say “no” to investment?

F.S.: It is an initial discussion only. I think we will be a part of the discussion and try to prevent it from blocking new investment into the EU, from Russia or other countries, which might be interested in doing so.