Asia - Pacific

Kremlin says European politicians pursuing their country's interests are labelled 'pro-Russian'

Spokesman Dmitry Peskov comments on election results in Slovakia won by Robert Fico

Elena Teslova  | 02.10.2023 - Update : 03.10.2023
Kremlin says European politicians pursuing their country's interests are labelled 'pro-Russian'


Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday that any politician that goes against the EU line is dubbed "pro-Russian."

Commenting on result of the parliamentary election in Slovakia, won by former Prime Minister Robert Fico and his Direction–Social Democracy party, and claims about Fico's "pro-Russian" orientation, Peskov said "a whole range of politicians in Europe are called 'pro-Russian'."

"We are now facing a situation when any politician on the European continent who is inclined to think about the sovereignty of their country, who protects the interests of their country, is immediately 'christened' pro-Russian. This is absurd," Peskov told a press conference in Moscow.

Fico and his party gained 22.94% of votes in the Sept. 30 election, winning 42 out of 150 seats in parliament.

About the US averting a government shutdown by passing a bill which halted aid to Ukraine, the spokesman said it is a "temporary phenomenon."

"Of course, America will continue its involvement in this conflict," he said.

Turning to fresh EU restrictions against Russian citizens, prohibiting entry of cars with Russian plates to EU territory, Peskov said they are "absolutely absurd."

Such decisions will have a negative impact on Russian-European relations, "which are already in a deplorable state."

As for a possible response, he said it should be "what's best for" Russia, "not every time it should be a mirror reaction," he said.

The ban on the entry of Russian cars is already in effect in Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland, and from Oct. 3 it will be imposed in Norway.

Russia, Moldova dialogue on gas deliveries

Peskov said dialogue between Gazprom and the Moldovan side continues, including taking into account Chisinau's debts to the company.

Commenting on the announcement by Moldovan Energy Minister Victor Parlicov, who said the republic "has completely switched to gas deliveries from the EU," and "will not buy gas from Gazprom anymore," Peskov said: "There are debts, there is a dispute about the size of these debts. And this dialogue must continue."

On Parlikov's remarks about the "more profitable" offer of European suppliers, Peskov said the spot market of short-term, "instant" contracts is changeable.

"Yes, it is now possible to buy gas on the spot, which in the end, by origin, will most likely turn out to be Russian on the European market.

"The spot market is such that today it may be cheaper than pipe gas (Russia mainly supplies it under long-term contracts), but tomorrow it will be much more expensive," he warned.

In 2021 Russian energy company Gazprom asked Moldova to settle debts for previously delivered gas, a condition for the extension of the contract for further deliveries.

According to the results of the audit conducted by the Norwegian Wikborg Rein Advokatfirma AS and the British Forensic Risk Alliance, Moldova recognized only $8.6 million of the $709 million owed to Gazprom.

Moldovan authorities had asked to "forgive" the debt "in difficult economic period" and fines for late payments.

In return, Chisinau agreed to pay compensation for "deviations from the tariff" of $153.57 million and waive claims for lack of supplies since October 2022 (about $160 million).

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