MOSCOW: EU energy commissioner Andris Piebalgs called on Monday for â€˜mutual trustâ€™ in energy relations with Russia at the start of an EU-Russia energy conference in Moscow. Russia and the EU should work to â€œreinforce mutual trust in the energy sector,â€ Piebalgs said â€œThere is some work to be done on building up mutual confidence.â€
The EU depends on Russia for around a quarter of its natural gas imports, and that proportion is rapidly increasing. Russiaâ€™s budget also depends on revenues from European energy sales.
Russian state gas monopoly Gazprom is moving aggressively to gain greater access to Europeâ€™s downstream energy retail market and has complained of unfair treatment from wary European regulators. European officials say Russia must provide a better climate for foreign investors in its energy sector and liberalise its energy infrastructure.