The head of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) accuses Russia of seeking to derail the uptake of fracking technology in Europe.
NATO’s Secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen, also the former Prime Minister of Denmark, told international affairs think-tank Chatham House that Russia is covertly working and funding anti-fracking groups to ensure that Europe remains reliant on Russian gas, reported the Guardian.
“I have met allies who can report that Russia, as part of their sophisticated information and disinformation operations, engaged actively with so-called non-governmental organisations – environmental organisations working against shale gas – to maintain European dependence on imported Russian gas,” said Mr. Rasmussen.
However, Mr. Rasmussen refused to give further details over his claims. He insisted that fracking should be employed in order to boost Europe’s energy security.
NATO’s press office however disassociated itself from Rasmussen’s remarks, calling them his own personal opinion and not its official policy.
Recently, Russia entered into a $400 billion deal to supply China with natural gas and threatened Ukraine that it would cut off energy supplies, indicating that it wouldn’t mind using its resources for political ends.
Fracking or hydraulic fracturing is a technique that involves pumping a mixture of sand, water and chemicals at high pressure to fracture the shale rocks to release the trapped natural gas. The process has drawn fierce opposition from environmentalists in UK and other European countries, who argue it has polluted groundwater sources and led to methane leaks.
Surveys in Britain have established the presence of large shale oil and gas supplies, though it is yet to be exploited. Poland, which to have some of the best shale gas reserves in Europe, is also yet to commence production as it is difficult to extract it due to unique geological structure. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.
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