BRUSSELS, Nov 22 (KUNA) -- The European Union's top energy official denied Thursday accusations by Russian energy giant Gazprom that the EU plan to liberalize its natural-gas market could lead to a sharp rise in prices.
"Gazprom is accusing the European Commission of increase in gas prices. The truth is that today gas prices are indexed by the formula of the oil prices,'' EU energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs told reporters here this afternoon.
"If we have jump in oil prices it will come back in the gas prices. And that is the only reason for announce of increase in gas prices. It has nothing to do with the Commission proposal,'' he added. Alexander Medvedev, deputy chief executive of Gazprom, in media statements in Moscow on Tuesday said Russia and the EU will hold expert-level talks later this month to resolve difference over EU's plan of "unbundling" -- the separation of transport from distribution and production.
Piebalgs made the comments during a joint press conference with Jozias van Aarsten, Coordinator of the Nabucco gas pipeline project.
"Looking at Nabucco we are indeed making some progress.
Nabucco is a feasible project, a durable project although there are many hurdles to overcome,'' said Van Aarsten.
The 5- billion euro and 3,300 km Nabucco pipeline is being built to link the Caspian Sea with Europe, reducing the EUs dependence on Russian energy supplies.(End)
KUNA 221945 Nov 07NNNN