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23 Jun, 2010 13:49

“Europe’s calm reaction on gas dispute is well justified”

Europe’s reaction to Belarus’ decision to cut off Russian gas supplies was relatively calm this time around, which is well justified, believes Indra Overland from the Norwegian Institute of Foreign Affairs.

“First, the amount of gas going to Europe through the territory of Belarus is much lower than that going through Ukraine. Besides, gas demand decreases during the summer period,” explained Overland.

Mr. Overland joined RT to mull over the latest developments in the Russia-Belarus gas dispute.

“The main problem is that Mr. Lukashenko is trying to get more economic dividends and more economic privileges from Russia because he thinks that the framework of the Customs Union, which is now on the discussion between Russia and Belarus, is not favorable enough for his country. Unfortunately, he plays this game involving European consumers of Russian gas,” Fyodr Lukyanov, editor-in-chief of “Russia in Global Affairs” magazine, told RT.

According to Mr. Lukyanov, the conflict will hardly have any long-term consequences for European consumers – yet it is likely to bring about political changes in the relations between the two countries.