RIGA - The European Union (EU) plans to reduce its dependency on Russian gas imports by two thirds by the end of this year, European Commission Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said in an interview with Latvian Television.
The EU commissioner indicated that the EU has clearly resolved to gradually lessen its dependency on Russian gas and that work is therefore under way to find alternative solutions.
The EU's short-term plan envisages providing the bloc's gas storage facilities with sufficient gas stocks for the upcoming winter, and member states have been called on to participate in the EU's joint gas procurement on a voluntary basis.
Dombrovskis said that for some countries like the Baltic states the transition process will be more complicated due to limited supply options.
Dombrovskis added that the EU also continues an investigation into Russian gas giant Gazprom's alleged gas price manipulations.
Commenting on the Kremlin's decree on payments for gas in rubles, Dombrovskis said that he was not sure what the aim of this scheme was but that Russia will not be able to force its terms on Europe and that countries will continue to pay for gas in euros or US dollars.