The EU can avoid future gas crises if it starts to improve relations with Russia and stops treating it as an enemy, the country’s permanent representative to the bloc, Ambassador Vladimir Chizhov told the Financial Times outlet.
First of all, Chizhov emphasised that Moscow had nothing to do with the recent fuel price spike in Europe which last week set a historic record of $1,900 per 1,000 cubic metres, before dropping sharply when Russian President Vladimir Putin hinted that the ‘Gazprom’ company may increase supplies.
“Change adversary to partner and things get resolved easier,” Chizhov advised.
The diplomat stressed that both Brussels and Moscow would like prices to remain low, especially as higher prices mean people will start to look for alternatives, such as switching to dirtier fuels like coal. He 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 claimed as uncompetitive.
According to the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergey Ryabkov, the country refutes the “shameless” US accusations of price increase amid an ongoing energy crisis in Europe, Sputnik reports.
“We have been and we remain the most reliable and safe supplier of natural resources. We invite all colleagues in Europe, including our neighbours, to accept this simple fact that we value energy security on the continent, we want to cooperate with them, and with the EU, to prevent price spikes that we are witnessing,” the Minister said.
As reminded, just one day after the statement by Chizhov, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, revealed that the EU gas shortage means Russia’s help will most probably be needed.
“We still need Russian gas, and we will probably need more than we have contracted,” he told Spanish newspaper El Pais.