A senior Russian politician criticized Friday a proposal at a leading European institution to discuss the recent Russian-Ukrainian dispute over natural gas prices, RIA Novosty reported.

Konstantin Kosachev, the chairman of the lower house of parliament's international affairs committee, said the move to bring up the issue at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe next week amounted to "a search for pretexts to criticize Russia."

Kosachev said Hungary had submitted the proposal under the general idea that energy resources should not be used to put pressure on European nations.

The Russian parliamentarian dismissed the idea that Russia would use its huge gas and oil reserves to bring pressure to bear on Europe, but added that if a debate did take place, Russia would "draw Europe's attention to Ukraine's improper position in the conflict."


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