William Hague: Fracking Can Reduce Russia’s Grip On Europe

  • Date: 23/03/14
  • Sonia Elks, The Sunday Times

Europe should push ahead with controversial fracking schemes to reduce dependence on Russian gas amid talks on harder sanctions, William Hague has argued.

The Foreign Secretary said that European shale gas could help provide energy security as he insisted nations should not “run scared” of Moscow’s “bullying behaviour” in Ukraine.

His comments come as EU leaders consider further economic sanctions against Russia over its annexation of the Crimea in Ukraine. However, the bloc’s efforts to punish Russia have been frustrated by its reliance on Russian gas imports, which account for nearly a third of its supplies.

Mr Hague said the West needed to look to broaden its energy sources as he warned there “must be costs attached” to breaking international agreements. [...]

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, he said.

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