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EU unable to quit Russian gas import in near term - CEO of Italian oil and gas company

But EU can diversify energy sources

LONDON, March 24. /ITAR-TASS/. The European Union is too dependent on natural gas imports from Russia to abandon them over the near term, chief executive of the Italian Eni energy group Paolo Scaroni said in an interview released in Financial Times on Monday.

Europe now depends on Russian gas, but if the EU and Russia achieve no compromise over Ukraine and Crimea, the EU will make giant efforts to diversify its energy sources, including shale gas production in the EU territory, more extensive liquefied gas imports and increased imports from Algeria, Libya and Norway, Scaroni believes.

Meanwhile, the prospects for the South Stream pipeline on the bed of the Black Sea where Eni holds 20% were dismal, he added.