The European Union has called for the immediate resumption of gas supplies to Europe. In a joint statement, the new Czech EU Presidency and the European Commission said they demanded that gas delivery be restored.
They said the EU would “intensify the dialogue” between Moscow and Ukraine, to ensure they come to an agreement fast. Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek, in Prague, presenting his country’s programme for the EU presidency over the coming six months, said: “We see energy security as one of our main priorities. We want to take steps towards more diversification of supply lines and structures, and the interlinking of grids and networks… to bring new elements into the energy mix.” The Czechs’ priorities – economy, energy and external relations – all apply to the Russia-Ukraine affair, with several countries feeling the Gazprom noose. The Czech Republic is the first country formerly dominated by the Soviet Union to preside over the Council of the European Union.