Third Energy Package Could Spark Shortages Warns Russia

MOSCOW, December 1 (RIA Novosti) – The European Union’s implementation of the Third Energy Package could lead to a deficit of energy resources in Europe, Presidential Administration head Sergei Ivanov warned on Saturday.

“We are against this in principle, and aren’t afraid to say that the Third Package will simply make it harder to conclude long-term deals and could lead to Europe suffering – excuse me for saying so – stupid shortages of resources,” he told Russia’s TV Channel One.

“More and more capital is going into exploration of oil and gas, because all of this is going up north, which is more costly, for transportation, refining and distribution. If we follow the logic of the EU, that everything should be split up, then the question arises who will invest in transport and distribution?” he said.

The EU Third Package for Electricity and Gas markets aims to separate production and supply from transmission networks, facilitate cross-border trade in energy, more effective national regulators, and promote cross-border collaboration and investment, greater market transparency on network operation and supply, as well as increased solidarity among the EU countries.

It was adopted on September 19, 2007. The package was to be implemented by March of this year; however, not all EU member states have met the deadline. Russia has repeatedly spoken out against the directive, with then-President Dmitry Medvedev threatening retaliatory measures in 2011 if it was implemented, as it will have implications for vertically-integrated state energy companies like Gazprom.

“If energy distribution networks get dearer, and if we are talking about gas pipelines for example, this would lead to higher prices. This could have global consequences,” Ivanov added.

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