15-04-2024 01:41 AM Jerusalem Timing

EU to Unveil New Energy Plan to Limit Reliance on Russia

EU to Unveil New Energy Plan to Limit Reliance on Russia

The EU will unveil Wednesday plans to give it power to examine energy contracts that European states sign with countries outside the bloc, amid concerns about Europe’s dependence on Russian gas.

EU energy meetingThe EU will unveil Wednesday plans to give it power to examine energy contracts that European states sign with countries outside the bloc, amid concerns about Europe's dependence on Russian gas.

Brussels is aiming to beef up its legal arsenal one year after launching a landmark "energy union" strategy to secure supplies for the 28-nation EU against a backdrop of tensions with Russia over Ukraine.

EU energy commissioner Miguel Arias Canete said in a speech late Monday that the aim of the proposals "is simple: to prevent and mitigate possible security of gas supply crises."

The European Union is already investigating whether Russian state energy firm Gazprom has imposed unfair prices which breach the EU's fair trading rules, in a move which further inflamed relations.

EU states imported 53 percent of their energy in 2014. A third of gas comes from Russia alone and some newer eastern members are almost entirely reliant on Moscow for energy.

Under the plans to be unveiled Wednesday, the European Commission wants to be able to look at energy contracts between member states and non-EU countries in advance to say whether they comply with the bloc's rules, Canete said.

Currently the Commission, the executive arm and regulator of the EU, can only examine contracts after they have been signed.