RUSSIA could become the saviour of Europe if Brussels stopped treating Russia as an “adversary” according to the Kremlin’s ambassador to the European Union – but what prompted this condemnation?
A Russian official has accused the EU of avoiding measures which would diminish the impact of the growing gas crisis and underestimating the future role of gas amid tough renewable energy targets. The ambassador said the supply crisis would be remedied much more quickly if the bloc stopped treating Russia as an “adversary”.
The EU could soon import emergency gas reserves from Russia in a bid to prevent shortages.
The bloc is considering these plans as a means to protect citizens across member nations from record-breaking energy prices this winter.
EU sources claim the idea is being evaluated by many individuals and institutions according to The Telegraph.
Any deal would likely be akin to the joint procurement strategy enacted for buying Covid vaccines.
The EU’s chief diplomat Josep Borrell said Spain was pushing for joint procurement and common gas storage with Russia.
Other key EU member states including France, as well as Romania, Greece and the Czech Republic, also support the plans.
Mr Borrell told El Pais newspaper: “We continue to have a need for Russian gas and we will probably need more than that contracted.
“That is why Spain proposes, quite rightly, that the negotiation be done not country by country, but as a whole, as has been done with vaccines.”
Mr Borrell added Europe is facing an “emergency situation”.
He added the “gas supply problem has a geopolitical dimension” – linking the crisis to strained relations with Moscow.
According to the latest figures, Russia was the main EU supplier of crude oil, natural gas and solid fossil fuels in 2019.
In that time, EU imports from Russia stood at 27 percent of crude oil, 41 percent of natural gas and 47 percent of solid fuel imports.
Despite support from these important EU nations – plans for a procurement deal would likely face opposition from some member states.
The Kremlin’s ambassador to the EU called on Europe to mend ties with the country to avoid gas shortages in the future.
Vladimir Chizov said he expected the state-controlled exporter, Gasprom, which supplies 35 percent of Europe’s gas needs, to respond quickly to instructions from Russian leader Vladimir Putin to adjust output.
Mr Chizov added action is needed. “Brinkwire Summary News”.