Europe Too Reliant on Russia to Impose Sanctions Against Gas Sector: Russia’s EU Envoy

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The European Union’s new sanctions against Russia do not target the gas sector because Europe is too dependent on Russian gas supplies, Russia’s Ambassador to EU Vladimir Chizhov said on Thursday.

MOSCOW, (RIA Novosti) – The European Union’s new sanctions against Russia do not target the gas sector because Europe is too dependent on Russian gas supplies, Russia’s Ambassador to EU Vladimir Chizhov said on Thursday.

“Europe is much more dependent on Russian [gas] deliveries than it is when it comes to oil. Unlike gas, oil is bought and sold freely on the international market, but there are no alternatives to Russian pipeline gas, not today, and not in the foreseeable future,” Chizhov said in an interview with the Russia-24 channel.

On Thursday, president of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy confirmed that further EU sanctions against Russia will enter into force on September 12.

Over the past few months, the United States and the European Union have introduced several rounds of sanctions against Russia for its alleged meddling in Ukraine’s internal affairs. Moscow has repeatedly denied any involvement in the internal Ukrainian crisis.

Russia was forced to respond to Western sanctions with a year-long ban on certain food imports from the European Union, the United States, Canada, Australia and Norway.

Earlier on Thursday, Kremlin confirmed that Moscow has prepared a package of retaliatory measures to new Western sanctions. The measures will include restrictions on imports of cars and textile products.

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