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Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev told the gas monopoly Gazprom to cut gas supplies to Belarus, the Kremlin's press office said on Monday.
Meanwhile, news agency Ria Novosti cited Gazprom's chief executive Alexei Miller as saying that the supplies will be cut gradually
Gas supplies will be cut "day-by-day, proportionally to the debt's volume", the agency cited Miller as saying
Russia is consolidating its grip on oil and gas-the economic lifeblood of Europe. Moscow is pursuing a comprehensive strategy that could increase Europe's political and economic dependence on Russian energy. Such dependence could negatively affect transatlantic relations, common values, goals, strategic objectives, and security policies. Without a policy dialogue and coordination between Washington and European capitals, Europe's strategic drift away from the United States will continue unabated
In practice, some European countries depend heavily on energy imports and are highly vulnerable to global energy shocks. The EU is the world's largest importer of oil and gas. It imports 82 percent of its oil and 57 percent of its gas. Imports are projected to rise to 93 percent of its oil and 84 percent of its gas over the next 25 years
With Russia consolidating its control of European and Central Asian energy, and in view of Europe's dependence on the Persian Gulf, Europe desperately needs to cooperate on energy security. Europe and the U.S. should work together to mitigate the adverse effects of Europe's strategic dependence on Russia