Brown urges cut in Russian energy

Other News Materials 31 August 2008 14:32 (UTC +04:00)
Brown urges cut in Russian energy

Brown, in an article in the Observer's Sunday edition, threatened a 'root and branch' review of relations between the EU and the Kremlin, ahead of the European Union's Monday meeting, which will focus on the Caucasus crisis, the presstv.ir reported.

Russian Ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov said on Thursday that the EU would be making a 'grave mistake' should it take punitive measures against Russia.

"I highly doubt that might ever happen, but hypothetically speaking, that would be to the detriment of the European Union, as much, if not more, than to Russia," he said.

'No nation can be allowed to exert an energy stranglehold over Europe,' Brown said as he called for alternative suppliers of gas and oil. He also said the UK should consider new nuclear plants and alternative fuels.

Russia supplies about 30 percent of the European Union member-states' crude oil needs and about half of their natural gas.

The embattled labor leader also said the Caspian Sea's gas and oil should reach the West through Turkey and called for more funds to build a new pipeline avoiding the traditional route through Russia.

The standoff between Moscow and the West was sparked when Russia moved its forces into Georgia to protect its citizens in South Ossetia.

Moscow made the move after Tbilisi, on August 7, launched a military strike on the province to regain control over the region.

Tensions, however, intensified after Russia formally recognized the province's independence last week, as well as that of the breakaway province of Abkhazia.