Russiaâ€™s use of energy as a political tool was in the spotlight again on Wednesday as the European Union expressed concern about Moscowâ€™s dispute with Moldova over gas prices…….On Wednesday the European Commission urged Russia and Moldova to return totalks over their gas price dispute.
â€œLike in the case of Ukraine and Russia, we very strongly encourage the sides to sit down again at the table to continue discussions and to reach an agreement,â€ said Commission official Hilde Hardeman.
Her remarks followed concerns this week from the Austrian presidency of the EU over the continuing interruption in supplies to Moldova, which has left it dependent on gas imports from neighbouring Ukraine. The EU stepped up its involvement in Moscowâ€™s former domain last year when it signed a deal to help oversee a border between Ukraine and Moldovaâ€™s break- away region of Transdnestria…
The continuing interruption in supplies to Moldova is likely to add to concern in Brussels and EU member states over Europeâ€™s growing dependence on Russian energy supplies.
Energy commissioner Andris Piebalgs said energy supply has begun to play a key role in EU foreign policy in the past nine months, responding to criticisms of inaction from Polish MEP Bronislaw Geremek on Wednesday (11 January).
“Now, in exeternal relations, energy has moved up the agenda”, he said. “We clearly understand that energy is a priority, it’s always been a priority, but now it’s never missing off the agenda.”