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EU Energy Regulation Criticized As 'Two-Thirds Effort'

A Russian measuring station at Sudzha, near the border with Ukraine (file photo)

A Russian measuring station at Sudzha, near the border with Ukraine (file photo)

BRUSSELS -- The European Parliament in Strasbourg debated a draft EU gas regulation aimed at shoring up the bloc's energy policy against external supply disruptions, RFE/RL reports.

The parliament's rapporteur on the issue, Alejo Vidal-Quadras, described as a "genuine nightmare" the Russian gas cuts during the winters of 2008 and 2009 in Moscow's successive transit disputes with Ukraine.

But Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, an influential Polish member of the parliament's foreign affairs committee, said the planned new EU regulation only goes "two-thirds" of the way toward ensuring the bloc's energy security.

"There are some important omissions, however, especially in the external dimension of the EU energy policy," Saryusz-Wolski said. "The regulation omits the role of the high representative [for EU foreign policy, Catherine Ashton] and only vaguely refers to the southern corridor or Nabucco, or cooperation with our [European Neighborhood Policy] partners."

The regulation mainly deals with EU solidarity, setting out the conditions for an emergency to be declared and measures to be taken inside the bloc to get gas to member states suffering from disruptions.

Saryusz-Wolski today led a vocal group of mostly Eastern European speakers demanding tougher EU action to ensure supply commitments are honored and delivery routes and sources are diversified.