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Qatar Threatens EU Gas Supply Amid Corruption Probe

Qatar has threatened the European Union with withholding gas exports amid an investigation of the Belgian authorities into allegations of corruption in the European Parliament that led to the suspension of Qatar’s access to the EP.

Euractiv reports that, according to a statement made by a diplomatic representative of the Qatari government, the Belgian authorities were acting on “inaccurate” information in their investigation.

Last week, the Belgian authorities charged four people with corruption, alleging they received money and gifts from a Gulf state in order to influence decisions made by the European Parliament.

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One of those charged was reportedly Greek MEP Eva Kaili, who was quickly dismissed from her position as vice president of the European Parliament and ousted from her party, Greece’s PASOK.

The prosecutors, Reuters reported, said that they had been harboring suspicions about a Gulf state was trying to influence EP decisions but never named the state. An unnamed Reuters source said it was Qatar.

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"Any association of the Qatari government with the reported claims is baseless and gravely misinformed," a Qatari government source said at the time.

Now, the Qatari government’s statement said the Gulf state rejected all accusations of any involvement in the corruption scheme and noted that “Qatar was not the only party named in the investigation, yet our country has been exclusively criticised and attacked.”

“The decision to impose such a discriminatory restriction that limits dialogue and cooperation on Qatar before the legal process has ended, will negatively affect regional and global security cooperation, as well as ongoing discussions around global energy poverty and security,” the statement also said.

“Qatar has strong and longstanding ties with many countries in the European Union, and we extend our gratitude to those who have demonstrated their commitment to these relationships during this current wave of attacks against our country,” the diplomat also said.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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