Spain sees energy deal as EU step to cut Russia dependence

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

BRUSSELS (AP) — Spain says that a new agreement to connect its energy networks with Portugal and France is a major step toward breaking Europe's dependence on Russian gas supplies.

Spanish Energy Minister Jose Manuel Soria said Thursday that the deal to double the electricity interconnection capacity between the three countries and kick start a major gas project is "a very important political agreement."

He said the MIDCAT project linking gas infrastructure through Spain's northeast Catalonia region to southern France would help ensure that "Europe reduces its dependence on Russian gas."

His comments came as European Union energy ministers gathered in Brussels to discuss increasing the interconnectivity of EU networks to 10 percent by 2020.

Spain, Portugal and France sealed the agreement on boosting energy cooperation in Madrid on Wednesday.