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Gas war will hurt Russia too: Czech Ambassador

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New Delhi | Monday, Apr 14 2014 IST
 
Expressing hope that Russia will act maturely on the energy supply issue to Europe, Czech Ambassador to India Miloslav Stasek said the use of energy sanctions as a tool to settle political scores with Europe will hurt Russia too.

"If you are a big supplier, you need buyers. I don't think it will be beneficial for them, because they need the income coming from the sale of gas," Mr Stasek said commenting on Russian attempts to stall gas supplies to Central European countries.

He said the Czech Republic currently gets 78 per cent of its total gas supplies from Russia through a pipeline that runs through Ukraine and any attempts to use it to settle scores with Europe for its non-recognition of Crimea as part of Russia will deprive it of the funds from selling its vast energy resources.

He highlighted that Russia is also a big investor in its energy and power sector in the Czech Republic and it is not in Russia interest to hurt gas supplies to his country.

Calling the 'occupation' of Crimea by Russia as a development "that keeps us busy," the Ambassador said his country's position is the same as the EU's. "We are on the same lines as the EU. We are calling for the territorial unity of Ukraine," Mr Stasek said.

He said the way Russia went about occupying Crimea by holding a referendum, which was called into question both by the EU and the United States, brings home memories of the German occupation of Czech province of Bohemia when Germany used the same analogy, of a majority of German speakers in the province, to justify its occupation in 1938.

There has been a major energy policy shift in many European countries since Russia's 'occupation' of Crimea, as there are fears among many of these states that Russia will use its energy resources to starve its industry to gain an upper hand in the region.

However, Mr Stasek said his country had started the process of diversifying its energy needs much before the Crimean crisis began. Not only that the country is also trying to diversify its energy technology, Mr Stasek highlighted that together with France, Czech Republic is now the biggest exporter of energy to Europe and wants to further increase its nuclear energy capacity to become self-sustainable in the long run. UNI JS SD 1607 NNNN

-- (UNI) -- 14DI11.xml

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