Energy relations between Russia and the European Union are still heavily politicized and a new gas war between Ukraine and Russia is still possible, an EU energy expert said on Tuesday.
Energy relations between Russia and the European Union are not developing dynamically enough, even though the EU attached great importance to the joint Partnership for Modernization project with Russia, the head of international relations at the European Commission's Directorate-General for Energy, Jeffery Piper told the EU-Russia Energy Dialogue round table.
The European Commission believes that energy can and must be an engine of regional development, integration and peace, Piper said.
The European Union still has worries that a new gas dispute may flare up between Russia and Ukraine similar to the 2005-2006 conflict when Russian gas giant Gazprom suspended gas supplies to the neighboring country because Moscow and Kiev had not signed a new contract and Ukraine started to siphon off transit gas for its internal needs.
Piper said a new conflict would be disastrous for all the parties concerned.
He also said that energy relations should be clear and mutually beneficial.