Author`s name Lyuba Lulko

Europe unhappy with both too much and too little gas from Russia

The head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, in the midst of the gas crisis, called on EU countries to unite against Russia. The closer, the warmer, he apparently means.

EU wants to stand strong to force Russia to supply more gas

Josep Borrell wrote in his blog that EU's energy dependence was one of the key issues in relations with Russia.

"Russia is meeting its contractual obligations but does not deliver extra volumes to the EU, which led to the price increase, Borrell said. "Our energy dependency is one of the key issues in our relations with Russia. Russia is meeting its contractual obligations on gas deliveries, but is not putting additional gas into the European system as it could do, hence contributing to drive prices upward," he noted.

He lamented that in the past, EU states did not always show a unified approach in relations with the Russian Federation.

"Energy issues are one important reason why the EU needs to become more cohesive in its relation with Russia and preserve the unity of purpose among its member states. This has not always been the case in the past and to face this crisis we need to make progress in this direction," the EU official said.

When reading Borrell's "profound" statements, one may recall the character from a classic Soviet movie "Ivan Vasilyevich Changes Profession": "When you speak, Ivan Vasilyevich, there is such a feeling that you are being delusional."

Nothing personal, just business

There is no need to mix economics and politics. Gazprom supplies according to contracts. Why does Gazprom need to overfill European gas storage facilities, if the price of gas on the spot market is growing? Now they sell the gas that used to be purchased at a much cheaper price.

As for the issue of unity, it appears that the closer people stand together the warmer they feel. This is important for Ukraine in the first place. Interestingly, a politician from sunny Catalonia, where there is hardly any cold weather at all, calls on other 26 European countries to stand united against Russia as well.

Hungary doesn't want to freeze

There are Europeans who behave adequately. The current energy crisis in Europe has shown that politics and energy should not be mixed, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said.

"We never liked mixing politics and energy. When they mix politics with energy, we get crises like this one. We must learn from our past mistakes and learn lessons from them," the official said.

Szijjarto stressed that the Ukrainian gas transportation system was in need of serious reconstruction, which had not been carried out.

Borrell's statements come as an attempt to shift the blame for the crisis on someone else. The European Commission made gas trading highly relevant, but stock exchanges have their own rules of the game, and one may lose this game big time.

In the past, they accused Russia of supplying too much gas to the EU to make Europe dependent on the Russian fuel. These days, they accuse Russia of supplying too little gas to Europe, although it goes about only 30 percent of the total volume of European imports.

In a comment for Pravda.Ru, Vladimir Olenchenko, a senior researcher at the Center for European Studies at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations, said that he was surprised by Josep Borrell's above-mentioned statements as Borrell does not deal with energy issues.

Borrell's statements were published to coincide with the time of his talks with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in the United States. Borrell and Blinken discussed the dialogue between the United States and the European Union regarding Russia and China.

"These circumstances, of course, give rise to questions. I find no reason to consider his point of view to be objective. I believe it is rather politicised, unreasoned and unprofessional," Vladimir Olenchenko told Pravda.Ru.

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