EU’s ‘Absurd’ Policy on Russian Gas Damages European Energy Security
Sputnik/ Grigoriy SisoevBusiness16:05 14.09.2017(updated 16:56 14.09.2017) Get short URL346420
The new gas supply security rules adopted by the EU will not contribute to the bloc’s energy security, according to MEP Jean-Luc Schaffhauser. He pointed out that such decisions are politically motivated and will be negatively affect energy cooperation with Russia.
On Tuesday the European Parliament approved the bloc’s new rules diversifying natural gas suppliers and ultimately seeking to reduce Europe’s reliance on Russian gas.
“[Such moves] are undermining the fundamental security principle that allows EU members to take responsibility and negotiate long-term gas contracts,” Schaffhauser told Sputnik France.
He explained that this is apparently being made in order to “prevent EU member states from making long-term contracts with [Russian energy giant] Gazprom on a privileged basis.”
The new regulation introduces a principle of solidarity and stipulates closer regional energy cooperation and joint measures in case of a gas shortage. Finally, gas companies will be required to be more transparent on long-term contracts regarding the energy security of a member state.
Commenting on Brussels’ new energy policy, Schaffhauser warned of its possible negative implications.
“First, I’m talking about short-term contracts, a spot market. Such an environment is less stable and predictable in terms of investment. It is clear that spot contracts are not good for energy security. … Switching to a spot market would destabilize the situation and result in an increase in gas prices,” the lawmaker pointed out.
Moreover, according to Schaffhauser, this is also about political speculations, in particular an attempt to ruin Europe’s “long-term energy ties with Russia.” He stressed that it makes zero sense to look for new suppliers after years of sustainable energy cooperation with Russia.
The lawmaker suggested that even in the future Europe will not be able to stop relying on Russian natural gas supplies.
“The goal of the European Commission is to diversify supplies to damage Russia’s interest. This approach is technically mistaken and politically absurd,” Schaffhauser said.
Opposition from the European Commission already the implementation of a major energy project with Russia. The South Stream gas pipeline was intended to run under the Black Sea to deliver Russian natural gas through Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary and Slovenia to Italy and Austria to avoid exporting gas through Ukraine.
Brussels said that the pipeline was allegedly in breach of the EU Third Energy Package. The project further faced additional obstacles from Bulgaria and the EU authorities amid Western sanctions over Crimea’s reunification with Russia and the conflict in Eastern Ukraine. On December 1, 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia would halt the implementation of the South Stream.