Friday, April 21, 2006

Gazprom worries EU

With their usual deft hand, Gazprom (and the Kremlin, we should add) has just added to their problem in the EU:

Amid growing tensions between the European Union and Gazprom, an EU spokesman said Thursday that the gas monopoly's warning to European countries not to block its expansion had intensified fears about growing reliance on Russian gas.

The comments continued the verbal sparring that followed reports last week that Britain was conjuring up legal barriers to block Gazprom's potential takeover of Centrica, Britain's largest gas supplier. On Tuesday, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller told European countries not to "politicize" gas supplies at a lunch with EU ambassadors in Moscow.

Gazprom's "statement gives grounds to our concerns on the growing foreign dependency of European energy supply and ... our need to diversify both the origin of our supplies and our supply routes," said Ferran Tarradellas Espuny, spokesman for EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, Reuters reported Thursday.

Maybe they could threaten to turn off the taps. You know, something between friends.

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