E.ON Ruhrgas executive Jochen Weise claimed the former Eastern Bloc countries hardest hit by January's gas crisis were like "junkies", adding that nations dependent on Russia for their gas supply "had to do their homework".
Experts from Washington have called on the EU to be more daring and propose closer ties with its large Eastern neighbour. But European Commission officials told that the current mood in Europe was not exactly in tune with such an approach.
Gas and oil supplies to energy-hungry Europe have always featured as the key topic in talks between Astana and EU officials, concerning Kazakhstan's OSCE chairmanship in 2010. Stifled by the precarious situation in the energy sector, the EU has often ignored the heavy-handedness of the Kazakh authorities in dealing with the opposition press, and has toned down its criticism on the non-compliance of Kazakhstan's laws with democratic standards. In appreciation of western backing for Kazakhstan's coveted chairmanship of the OSCE, Astana invariably showed interest in European energy projects.
Gazprom has gone from being a great commercial hope to an ailing giant. Gazprom`s owners need to face up to the crisis and institute reforms.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Friday called on the international community to help Ukraine finance its gas bill so as to avoid a fresh gas war. Ukraine is due to pay its bill for Russian gas intended for domestic consumption and stocking in underground reservoirs on June 7, Putin said in a statement posted on his website.
For years, analysts have argued that the Nabucco natural gas pipeline -- a U.S.-backed effort to transport gas from the Caspian Sea to Europe via Turkey, thus bypassing Russia -- needed to accept gas from Iran if it was to be economically viable. But Iranian involvement in the project, which is intended to reduce European energy dependence on Russian gas exports, has been anathema for U.S. policymakers: Washington's efforts to thwart Iran's ambitions have so far overridden its desire to thwart Russia's.
Lithuanian Mass Media Review.
Turkmen President Gurbangulu Berdymuhammadov made an official tour to Europe, including Belgium, Germany and Austria over 6 months ago. The president commissioned Vice-Premier and Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov to hold direct talks with the European Union next two months, official sources said.
EU and Russian leaders failed to mend the rifts at their summit in the Siberian town of Khabarovsk. Moscow criticised the EU's new eastern partnership while Brussels urged for a more reliable energy supply.
At the press conference on the last day of talks, both sides were eager to stress the good relations and the positive atmosphere of the summit.
Russia reaffirmed on Friday it will not ratify the existing Energy Charter and called for a new energy agreement to ensure future global energy security.
Energy security was among the key issues on the agenda of a Russia-EU summit in the Far Eastern city of Khabarovsk on 22 May.