Czechs not backing single EU body for gas, oil purchases-draft paper

PRAGUE Wed May 21, 2014 6:08am EDT

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PRAGUE May 21 (Reuters) - The Czech Republic should not back a Polish proposal to create a single body to buy gas for the European Union but could support private groups voluntarily joining up for purchases, according to a draft government position paper obtained by Reuters.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has called for the EU to create an energy union because the current dependence on Russian energy makes Europe weak. The creation of a single European body to buy gas for the 28-member bloc would be an element, Tusk wrote in an April 21 article in the Financial Times.

"We generally do not support the creation of one subject in the EU responsible for buying oil and gas," said the position paper, which was prepared for the Czech government by the country's Industry Ministry.

"However, it is possible to support the creation of a mechanism to aggregate demand on a voluntary basis, that is the possibility of joining together private entities active in member states."

The paper backed calls for investments into energy infrastructure, especially in central and eastern European countries. (Reporting by Robert Muller; Writing by Jason Hovet)

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