Europe has reiterated to Russia and Belarus it expects them to honour their contracts on energy delivery. The point was driven home diplomatically in Berlin. This was during customary start-of-term talks between the European Commission and the new presidency of the European Union, now Germany.
Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso: said “It is not acceptable… we believe it is not acceptable for either supplier or transit countries to take measures that impact on their partners without consultation and this of course is a matter of concern for us.” Chancellor Angela Merkel and her cabinet spent the day discussing with Barroso’s team the priorities of the EU presidency’s six-month work programme. She said, on a subject like energy: “If there aren’t consultations it always destroys trust.” Germany began its turn as head of the European Council on 1 January; Berlin’s motto is “Europe – succeeding together”.