EU plots future energy security: official

EU Commissioner of Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Canete gestures as he speaks at the EU Headquarters in Brussels on Feb
EU Commissioner of Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Canete gestures as he speaks at the EU Headquarters in Brussels on February 25, 2015

The European Union is drawing up contingency plans to guarantee energy security for the 28-nation bloc under all circumstances, its top energy official said Thursday.

"We are considering all the possible risks and all the possible scenarios. We are not only thinking of Russia," EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Canete, said in the Latvian capital Riga.

Heavily dependent on Russian natural gas, the EU has faced the possibility of delivery shortfalls amid tensions between Moscow and Ukraine, which hosts pipelines sending Russian supplies to the bloc.

"With the solidarity among the 28 member states of the European Union, we can face any crisis that may come in the future," said Canete following a meeting of EU environment and energy ministers under the auspices of Latvia's six-month stint as EU president.

He added that "no member state" can be dependent upon a single supplier but insisted Brussels was not singling out Russia.

"The Russians will continue to be a very important supplier to the European Union, not only in gas, but also in coal, in oil and in uranium—but on a market basis," Canete said.

The EU unveiled plans in February for a continent-wide single market to reduce its uneasy reliance on Russian supplies and cut a massive annual import bill of some 400 billion euros ($430 billion).

Energy supplies have not been part of the raft of Western punitive measures against Russia over its role in the Ukraine crisis.


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