MOSCOW, June 20 (UPI) -- Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said using energy for geopolitical gain leads to market instability and a poor investment climate.
Novak told delegates gathered in Moscow for the World Petroleum Congress the Kremlin isn't trying to dominate global energy markets for political gain.
"We are focused on fundamental market mechanisms," he said in his Thursday address. "Using energy as a tool to achieve geopolitical goals leads to increased instability and worsening of the investment climate in the energy sector, with end users paying for this."
Russian energy company Gazprom this week said it would sell future natural gas supplies to Ukraine only with advance payment. Europe gets about a quarter of its gas from Russia, though most of those supplies run through Ukraine's pipeline system.
Europe has looked for alternate gas supplies to break the Russian grip on the region's energy sector.
European Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger in May said members of the European Union need to develop stronger partnerships in the energy sphere in order to avoid falling victim to "political and commercial blackmail."