12 Mar 2022 11:15

If necessary, Russia ready for harsh confrontation with EU in energy sector - Russian Foreign Ministry

MOSCOW. March 12 (Interfax) - Russia is ready for a harsh confrontation with the European Union in the energy sector, if the need arises, Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry's European Cooperation Department Nikolai Kobrinets said.

"Russia remains a reliable supplier, a world-class guarantor of energy security. We value this reputation, but are ready for a harsh confrontation in the energy sector, if the need arises. I believe, the European Union would not definitely profit from it, because we have a greater safety margin and stronger nerves," Kobrinets told Interfax in an interview.

According to the European Commission, Russia's share makes up about 45% of gas exported to the EU, 25% oil and 45% of coal, "therefore Brussels is bound to understand the vulnerable position it is in," the high-ranking Russian diplomat said.

Judging by statements of EU representatives, Europe intends to become independent from Russia's energy sources "at any cost," and "ordinary European taxpayers, not senior European bureaucrats, will have to pay this cost," he said.

The EU's plans to forgo Russian energy sources include creating projects in hydrogen generation and developing alternative energy sources, which will take time and investments, Kobrinets said.

"Those plans are not very rational from a strictly economic point of view. Global energy markets are experiencing turbulence, if not panicking. It is unknown how high the prices would get. But it is already clear that the EU member states will have to pay thrice as much, or even more, for gas, oil and electricity. That's their choice," he said.