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You're reading: EU energy chief hopes for smooth solution to Gazprom spat

NICOSIA - The European Commission is holding intensive talks with Russia and expects to reach a compromise on a legal dispute between the bloc and its biggest gas provider, while avoiding disruption to energy supplies, the bloc's energy commissioner said on Monday.

The Commission is investigating suspected anti-competitive
practices by Russia’s Gazprom, which has said it will
fight the case but not cut supplies in retaliation.

EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said there was no
supply risk. “We don’t see any direct risk for our security of
our supply, either for oil, coal or gas. We assume all sides
will respect contractual commitments,” he told reporters.

“We have had intensive bilateral discussions about Russian
developments,” he said on the sidelines of an informal meeting
of EU energy ministers in Cyprus, holder of the EU presidency.

“A number of points are obviously controversial. But I
believe that both sides can be professional on this, so much so
that I believe these controversial issues can be cleared up, I
believe it is possible we find compromises. Moreover the
European energy market, our industry, the consumers need not
suffer from this,” he added.

Oettinger said he was preparing for further talks with the
new Russian energy minister and the new deputy prime minister in
October or November at the latest. The annual EU-Russia dialogue
will be held in December.

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