Fracking 'can weaken Russia grip'

South Wales Argus: Fracking 'can weaken Russia grip' Fracking 'can weaken Russia grip'

Pushing ahead with controversial 'fracking' schemes could help reduce Russia's leverage over Europe, William Hague has suggested.

The Foreign Secretary urged a broader energy mix as he insisted nations should not "run scared" of Moscow's "bullying behaviour" in Ukraine.

The intervention - in an article for the Sunday Telegraph - came amid continuing tensions in Crimea, where pro-Russian forces have been storming Ukrainian military sites.

Mr Hague wrote: "With thousands of Russian troops still massed on Ukraine's borders, there is a grave risk of the Ukraine crisis deepening.

"That is why the EU, the United States and our allies have imposed sanctions.

"The European Commission are working now on more far-reaching economic measures that will be imposed if Russia takes further steps to undermine Ukraine."

He said Britain and her allies had "never given up on diplomacy or sought a path of permanent confrontation with Russia".

"But nor should European nations run scared before bullying behaviour," he added.

Mr Hague said it was now necessary to "contemplate a new state of relations with Russia that is very different to the last 20 years".

He warned Moscow that it was not simply facing "short-term pain" of limited sanctions, but long-term "isolation and stagnation".

Part of that could be a fundamental rethink by the West of its energy sources, including accessing shale gas reserves through 'fracking'.

"In Europe, ideas are now being discussed for how we build greater energy security," Mr Hague wrote. "If necessary, we should be prepared to diversify future sources of natural gas supplies to Europe, including through the Southern Corridor.

"We would need to boost investment in gas interconnections and terminals in Europe, and develop indigenous European energy supplies for countries wishing to develop their own resources, such as shale gas.

"And it would mean helping Ukraine and neighbourhood countries to liberalise their energy markets, increase energy efficiency and ensure more resilient energy supplies.

"Russia's actions in Ukraine should make it much more likely that the European Union takes such decisions."

Amid political turmoil and efforts to shut down social media networks in Turkey, Mr Hague also cautioned of "oligarchisation" in that region that could damage European democracy.

"Russia has been damaged by its failure to develop independent institutions and by an oligarchic economic system," he said.

"There is an evident danger of some of the same corrupting habits spreading into democratic countries.

"In South East Europe and the Balkans in particular, we are seeing the creation of concentrations of economic, political and media power which could inhibit the development of genuine or stable democracy and reverse progress already made.

"If this is allowed to go unchecked, European democracy could be damaged and undermined over the long term."

 

Comments (7)

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12:23pm Sun 23 Mar 14

Mervyn James says...

Blatant grandstanding to push an 'energy source' most oppose, all in the name of profit, what an amateur this politician is. Go nuclear and stop faffing about. except then we won't be Russia dependent but French dependent as they build them and want the fist 50 years profits ! (We're being led by fools and un-elected ones at that).
Blatant grandstanding to push an 'energy source' most oppose, all in the name of profit, what an amateur this politician is. Go nuclear and stop faffing about. except then we won't be Russia dependent but French dependent as they build them and want the fist 50 years profits ! (We're being led by fools and un-elected ones at that). Mervyn James
  • Score: 1

1:29pm Sun 23 Mar 14

ex-St. Julians boy says...

Somehow, I can't see President Putin being overly concerned about Hague's opinion of him or his actions ... that's if he's ever heard of William Hague to begin with.
Somehow, I can't see President Putin being overly concerned about Hague's opinion of him or his actions ... that's if he's ever heard of William Hague to begin with. ex-St. Julians boy
  • Score: 7

6:56pm Sun 23 Mar 14

Baldrobins says...

Utter rubbish! trying to change peoples minds to accept fracking which will ruin loads of gorgeous welsh countryside for greedy politicians. Get a grip.........
Utter rubbish! trying to change peoples minds to accept fracking which will ruin loads of gorgeous welsh countryside for greedy politicians. Get a grip......... Baldrobins
  • Score: -4

8:22am Mon 24 Mar 14

Katie Re-Registered says...

I'm certainly no fan of Putin and his regimes persecution of LGBTQ people. However, since some 97 per cent of Crimeans voted to become part of Russia then surely this is their democratic wish, however much this may mystify or be inconvenient to the plans of western leaders surely as true democrats they have to respect the Crimean people's wishes? After all, William Hague is keen to insist that if the Falkland Islanders want to be British instead of Argentinian then they should continue to be defended in their wish to do so, isn't he?
I'm certainly no fan of Putin and his regimes persecution of LGBTQ people. However, since some 97 per cent of Crimeans voted to become part of Russia then surely this is their democratic wish, however much this may mystify or be inconvenient to the plans of western leaders surely as true democrats they have to respect the Crimean people's wishes? After all, William Hague is keen to insist that if the Falkland Islanders want to be British instead of Argentinian then they should continue to be defended in their wish to do so, isn't he? Katie Re-Registered
  • Score: -1

9:29am Mon 24 Mar 14

Llanmartinangel says...

Baldrobins wrote:
Utter rubbish! trying to change peoples minds to accept fracking which will ruin loads of gorgeous welsh countryside for greedy politicians. Get a grip.........
This kind of attitude makes me smile. The cost of energy in this country is one thing we don't control. The big players in the oil and gas markets aren't British and in any case the EU dictates prices far more than we do.
[quote][p][bold]Baldrobins[/bold] wrote: Utter rubbish! trying to change peoples minds to accept fracking which will ruin loads of gorgeous welsh countryside for greedy politicians. Get a grip.........[/p][/quote]This kind of attitude makes me smile. The cost of energy in this country is one thing we don't control. The big players in the oil and gas markets aren't British and in any case the EU dictates prices far more than we do. Llanmartinangel
  • Score: 4

9:30am Mon 24 Mar 14

Melvyn The Milk says...

Katie Re-Registered wrote:
I'm certainly no fan of Putin and his regimes persecution of LGBTQ people. However, since some 97 per cent of Crimeans voted to become part of Russia then surely this is their democratic wish, however much this may mystify or be inconvenient to the plans of western leaders surely as true democrats they have to respect the Crimean people's wishes? After all, William Hague is keen to insist that if the Falkland Islanders want to be British instead of Argentinian then they should continue to be defended in their wish to do so, isn't he?
This was a Russian election. They are a bit different to British election. Or are you really that naive?
[quote][p][bold]Katie Re-Registered[/bold] wrote: I'm certainly no fan of Putin and his regimes persecution of LGBTQ people. However, since some 97 per cent of Crimeans voted to become part of Russia then surely this is their democratic wish, however much this may mystify or be inconvenient to the plans of western leaders surely as true democrats they have to respect the Crimean people's wishes? After all, William Hague is keen to insist that if the Falkland Islanders want to be British instead of Argentinian then they should continue to be defended in their wish to do so, isn't he?[/p][/quote]This was a Russian election. They are a bit different to British election. Or are you really that naive? Melvyn The Milk
  • Score: 3

10:01am Mon 24 Mar 14

whatintheworld says...

no matter what you think of fracking, you should know that the amount of shale gas in this country is no-where near enough to reduce dependancy on russia...
no matter what you think of fracking, you should know that the amount of shale gas in this country is no-where near enough to reduce dependancy on russia... whatintheworld
  • Score: 2

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