Spanish Ecological Transition Minister Teresa Ribera said on Thursday that she is confident that the Algerian state gas company Sonatrach will respect its commercial natural gas supply contracts with Spanish companies, despite the diplomatic dispute.
“We are not going to think that this (the contracts) can be broken unilaterally by a decision of the Algerian government,” Ribera said in an interview with Spanish radio station Onda Cero.
Algeria suspended on Wednesday the friendship treaty that it had maintained with Spain for 20 years and prohibited imports from this country, in a dispute over Madrid’s position on Western Sahara.
Ribera acknowledged that the dispute is taking place at a delicate moment, since the gas supply contracts are in a price negotiation process.
“I am confident that this (commercial contracts) will continue to function as it is, because otherwise it would be other types of more complex problems to be resolved through diplomatic relations and not courts or arbitrations,” said the minister.
Algeria is a key supplier of gas to Spain, and Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has said in the past that he would not break supply contracts over this dispute.
Spain’s turn in support of Morocco’s position on Western Sahara put an end to a dispute between Madrid and Rabat last year that affected both the disputed territory and migration.
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