To give more warning in case of potential threats, the EU has launched a Network of Energy Security Correspondents. Brussels said the swift inauguration of NESCO after the go-ahead just five months ago showed the importance attached to external energy security.
Russia has rattled European importers twice in just over a year by interrupting supplies in a bid to force Ukraine and Belarus to pay market rates for gas and oil. The EU says its dependence on outside suppliers grew from 44% in 1995 to more than 56% ten years later.
The European Commission’s external relations director Eneko Landaburu described the new network’s function. He said: “It is a way to have a common energy policy, not only through exchange of information, not only through being able to react quickly when difficulties arise – because there are threats can come about; This is also about brainstorming together about how to meet these threats. So, this is an important and solid element towards the policy we desire.”
Russia said it had halted deliveries of oil products through Estonian ports on Wednesday in its political row with the Baltic state. Western countries have accused Moscow in the past of using its oil and gas reserves as a political weapon against its ex-Soviet neighbours.