President Dmitry Medvedev on Friday ordered the Energy Ministry and gas exporting monopoly Gazprom to present him with their views on the new energy rules that Europe is poised to introduce.
Russia and Europe have a long shared history of spats over energy. Brussels is keen to diversify its sourcing of oil and gas away from Russia, which supplies about a quarter of the European Union's gas needs.
The European Union is set to introduce new rules, known as the Third Energy Package, that will impose limits on ownership of pipeline infrastructure by gas suppliers — rules that are likely to hit Gazprom's position in Europe.
Last month, the European Commission carried out raids on the offices of Gazprom's subsidiaries in Europe in a wider probe into possible breaches of anti-monopoly laws.
"I would like the energy minister and the head of Gazprom's management board to present their proposals on how we should build cooperation with our European partners, taking into account realization of the rules of the so-called Third Energy Package," Medvedev said during a meeting of Russia's Security Council.
In February, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said the package, which would hand a role to intermediaries in the gas trade, was tantamount to "confiscation."
"Of course, we would stick to all the existing agreements … But due to energy security we have to think about the future as well," Medvedev said.
Russia has also been at loggerheads with the EU over a proposed Caspian Sea pipeline designed to carry natural gas to Europe. Moscow has said the bloc should halt talks on the route, labeling EU involvement in the project "meddling."
Medvedev reiterated on Friday that the project — seen as a rival to the Moscow-designed South Stream gas pipeline — needs to be approved by all the Caspian Sea littoral states.