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Peter Mandelson (file photo) (official site)
April 20, 2007 -- EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson is set today to warn that EU-Russia relations could go very wrong unless there are clearer rules governing the global energy trade.
In excerpts of a speech he is due to deliver later today at a conference in Italy, Mandelson says trust between the European Union and Russia has reached its lowest level since communism's collapse.
Mandelson, a key figure in Russia's bid to join the World Trade Organization (WTO), said both the European Union and Russia suspect each other of using energy policy as a political weapon.
"Russia needs to be in the WTO," he said, but he urged Moscow to adopt transparent rule of law and stem state influence on the economy.
Clear rules, he added, to allow investments to flow easily between Russia and the EU would interlock markets and deepen stability.