05:55 GMT08 March 2021
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    State Secretary of the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy Rainer Baake claims that the European Union's potential Energy Union poses a long-term threat to Moscow as a supplier of natural resources to the 28-member bloc.

    BERLIN (Sputnik), Svetlana Alexandrova — The European Union's potential Energy Union poses a long-term threat to Moscow as a supplier of natural resources to the 28-member bloc, State Secretary of the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy Rainer Baake has said.

    At an opening session of the third annual Energy Security Summit on Wednesday, Baake announced that 13 EU members will sign a joint declaration ending price caps and energy trading interference in early June. The two-day event in Berlin centres around an ambitious goal of establishing an EU Energy Union and evaluating its costs and benefits.

    "Of course, there will be indirect effect because Europe is going to make itself less dependable on imports. It will of course have a long term effect on Russia as an exporter," Baake told Sputnik on the sidelines of the energy security meeting.

    The state secretary stressed the Energy Union's role as an internal market framework strategy with efficiency, competitiveness and "the idea that gas and electricity can be traded freely in Europe" at its core.

    Baake added that Europe's pursuit of energy efficiency is not aimed at antagonizing Russia and will not affect the EU's supplier of one-third of its energy in the short-term.

    "It is not a strategy against Russia, it is a strategy for European competitiveness," Baake told Sputnik.

    Europe pursues peaceful coexistence instead of animosity with its Russian neighbour, Baake noted.

    "We are not interested in any confrontation with Russia. We want strong cooperation in Europe, but we also want peaceful coexistence in Europe," Baake told Sputnik.

    Baake reasoned that Western sanctions imposed on Moscow last year over the Ukrainian conflict must stay in place until its peaceful resolution.

    "We hope tat the reasons of the sanctions will be removed and the crisis in Ukraine will be solved," the state secretary said.

    The military confrontation between Ukrainian government forces and independence supporters in the country's southeast has soured relations between Russia and the West.

    In a little over a year, it has claimed over 6,000 lives, according to the United Nations, and forced nearly 650,000 to flee their homes, according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center's latest report.

    At the energy security summit on Wednesday, Baake announced plans to sign a joint declaration ending price caps and energy trading interference in early June.

    The ultimate goal is for Europe to establish an Energy Union that will make the 28-member bloc energy efficient and end its dependence on imports.

    Rainer Baake noted that the principles of a joint declaration on energy cooperation among 12 European Union member states are vital to the nations' energy market development.

    Baake announced the 12-party declaration is expected to be inked in early June.

    "The official announcement will be next month when the ministers sign it but as I have mentioned, some principles are absolutely crucial," Baake told Sputnik on the summit's sidelines on Wednesday.

    Allowing free price mechanisms, no direct or indirect caps on wholesale prices and no interference in trade between different countries' producers and consumers are the declaration's key provisions, the official stressed.

    Baake added that the terms of the declaration have been agreed on following 12 months of intensive talks between the states that share physical borders.

    "These are France, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland and Luxembourg. We also have two neighbours that are connected with us through submarine electrical cable: they are Sweden and we will also soon be connected to Norway," the official said.

    At Wednesday's keynote speech, the state secretary said the sides were able to find areas of cooperation despite differing national policies in the energy sector.

    The energy security summit comes amid deteriorating relations between Russia and the West, prompting EU members to look for alternative energy sources.


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