Moscow’s EU envoy advises Brussels to improve relations to avoid gas issues as top eurocrat admits bloc may buy more from Russia
The European Union will be able to avoid any future gas crises if it works to improve relations with Moscow and stops treating Russia as an enemy, the country’s permanent representative to the bloc has told the Financial Times.
In an article published on Sunday, Vladimir Chizhov told the newspaper that Moscow had nothing to do with the recent fuel price hike in Europe. Last week, gas prices sat at a historic high of $1,900 per 1,000 cubic meters, before dropping sharply when Russian President Vladimir Putin hinted that state energy company Gazprom may increase supplies.
“Change adversary to partner and things get resolved easier,” the Russian diplomat assured, before noting that both Brussels and Moscow want prices to remain low, especially as higher prices mean people will start to look for alternatives, such as switching to dirtier fuels like coal.
Chizhov also blamed the EU’s decision to force energy companies to supply gas to the freely traded spot market instead of the previously preferred long-term contracts, often as long as 25 years, which Brussels claims are uncompetitive. The diplomat’s comments echo the words of the Kremlin, which has also complained about the move to stock market trading.Also on rt.com There are a wide range of factors causing massively increased gas prices in Europe, but Russia is NOT one of them, Kremlin insists
A day later, on Monday, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell revealed that the EU’s gas shortage means Moscow’s help will likely be needed.
“We still need Russian gas, and we will probably need more than we have contracted,” he told Spanish newspaper El Pais, accusing Moscow of trying to “take advantage” of Europe’s gas problems to force the opening of controversial pipeline Nord Stream 2.
Last week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov maintained that Gazprom is fulfilling all of its contracts and is ready to provide more gas if the EU recognizes “the need for reciprocal steps.”
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