The European Union needs a common energy policy: Merkel

7th September 2010, Comments 0 comments

The European Union needs a common energy policy which would take into account smaller nations, German chancellor Angela Merkel said during a visit to Latvia on Tuesday.

"We need to do a common energy policy which will take in account everyone," Merkel told reporters.

"This may be beneficial to talk about closer cooperation between eastern and central European countries and Russia," she said.

On her official visit to Latvia, Merkel met Latvia's Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis on Tuesday to discuss issues of energy, economic and scientific cooperation, and the relationship with Russia.

Latvia, along with Estonia and Lithuania, are the so-called "energy islands" within the 27-nation European Union, all dependent on the Russian energy supplies.

The nations have been working on establishing energy connections with Sweden and Poland. The three Baltic nations fear that Moscow would use its gas domination to push forward its foreign policy in the region scarred by the 50 years of the Soviet occupation.

"I think that in any case, the time has come for Latvia, Russia, and Germany to intensively work on the intensification of the relationships," Merkel said after a meeting with Latvia's President Valdis Zatlers.

A Baltic nation of 2.2 million people, Latvia broke free from the Soviet Union in 1991. In 2004, it joined the EU and NATO.

© 2010 AFP

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