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EU powerless in “energy pressure” on Russia — sources

May 23, 2014, 17:33 UTC+3 ST. PETERSBURG
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ST. PETERSBURG, May 23. /ITAR-TASS/. The European Union has no viable sources to substitute for Russian gas, the gas holding Gazprom’s Chairman of the Board Viktor Zubkov told ITAR-TASS at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

Speaking of the company’s operations abroad, he mentioned Gazprom Germania in the EU and a joint venture in Vietnam.

The new EU energy strategy by the European Commission confirms grim prospects for Europe promised by energy sanctions against Russia. The strategy will be issued on May 28, but a source from Brussels commented on some of its clauses on Friday.

Evaluation of probable energy sanctions was one of the strategy’s concealed goals, he told said, and a comprehensive analysis confirmed that sanctions against the Russian gas sector or other energy supplies to Europe would cause a disaster for the European economy. This, though, had been obvious for some of the EU countries before, he added.

Declining to comment on the details, the source said that even the most optimistic scenarios without a sanction response from Russia revealed an economic damage unacceptable for Europe.

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