Almunia:EU Needs More Energy Cooperation After Belarus Gas Row

MADRID -(Dow Jones)- The recent Russia-Belarus row that interrupted gas flows to Europe has shown the need for a greater cooperation within the European Union to guarantee energy supply, EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said Monday.

The dispute has made clear that a unified "planning, cross-border infrastructure, and the solidarity between member states of the Union are essential to guarantee our supply security," Almunia said in a speech to Spain's Senate.

He also mentioned earlier episodes of disruption of Russian gas supplies in 2005 and 2008 as a reason for the need of greater energy cooperation within the EU.

Russia earlier this month briefly cut gas supplies to Belarus over a price dispute. Belarus, a key transit country for Russian energy supplies to Europe, in turn halted westbound shipments of natural gas, affecting Polish and Lithuanian importers.

Almunia Monday added that the EU's energy markets remain fragmented.

-By Bernd Radowitz


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