Eurasia Center Senior Fellow David Merkel testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on the subject of the development of energy resources in Central Asia:
When I talk with our European allies about the leverage Moscow has because of Europe’s dependence on Gazprom to keep their showers warm, they are often reluctant to pursue policies that result in the diversification of their hydrocarbon imports because they – notably Berlin – fear that Moscow would react negatively and their supply and other considerable business relationships would be interrupted. Europe receives more then 30 percent of its gas from Russia. While they see clearly the leverage that Russia has over the European Union as a supplier of energy, they often undervalue the fact that both suppliers and customers of energy have leverage. Even European Union documents, that my Russian interlocutors love to reference, conclude that Russia is more important to the European Union than the EU is to Moscow.