LONDON, June 25 (UPI) -- The European Union is moving away from liberal market economics and toward protectionism in its restrictions on Gazprom, a Russian economist said.
EU countries made a compromise decision to allow conglomerates in the energy market to remain intact, but the motion does not extend to groups originating outside Europe.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Anatoly Chubais, who helped lead the former Soviet Union toward privatization, said moves by the EU to "unbundle" ownership in the energy market by non-EU members is a nationalist move against the Russian energy giant Gazprom.
"It's an attempt to wrap up in beautiful clothing an absolutely paternalistic and geopolitical viewpoint which has no relation to liberal economics," he said.
Chubais said the move toward protectionism in the oil and gas market was a "dead end" that forced consumers to pay the expense of geopolitical concerns; a tendency he called "madness."
"It means you're forcing your population and your economy to pay for your political fears," he said.