Spain’s foreign minister said that the political crisis in the Ukraine would have no affect on the country’s gas supply and criticized the European Union for not looking at alternative supplies in northern Africa.
A confrontation with Russia over developments in the Ukraine would have “very serious consequences” for energy security in Europe, said Spain’s foreign minister Jose Manuel Garcia Margallo in comments made after a emergency meeting of EU ministers in Brussels.
Margallo joined the EU in condemning “acts of aggression” by Russia in their decision to deploy troops in Crimea and also joined the EU in calling for Russian troops to return to barracks.
Dialogue needed over the Ukraine crisis
Margallo went on to highlight the need for dialogue with Russia over the Ukraine crisis saying the two parties were “condemned to come to an understanding”.
He highlighted the fact that the Ukraine relied on Russia for “all” of its gas, while Europe received some 35 percent of its supplies from Russia.
Europe had been “miopic” in not “guaranteeing the interconnection between Spain and the rest of Europe”with supplies from Algeria and northern Africa, said the minister.
This “could be a good moment to reflect”, he added.
Opinions are divided on whether, and to what extent, Europe’s gas supplies are threatened by the crisis in The Ukraine.
But Margallo said on Monday Spain would “not be affected anyway” because it obtained supplies from northern Africa.