A senior official with the UK North Sea oil and gas regulator has accused Russia of having "no apparent interest in fighting climate change" but a "great deal of interest in using energy supplies as a weapon”. The provocative comments were made by UK Oil & Gas Authority (OGA) chairman Tim Eggar, writing on Thursday in a barbed article in The Times. In the face of the current gas price crisis engulfing Europe, Eggar argued that UK demand for energy is best satisfied as far as possible with domestic production. But in the opinion piece he also took the opportunity to criticise Russia's environmental credentials and to highlight accusations that Russia has played a role in manipulating prices. “The alternative [to domestic production] is to increase our reliance on imports,” wrote Eggar, a former UK energy minister. “The UK can produce gas with a lower carbon footprint than almost all other producing countries. “Shipping in more from overseas would further reduce our energy security at a time when Russia has no apparent interest in combatting climate change, but a great deal of interest in using energy supplies as a weapon.” He added: “Responsibility for our decarbonisation would pass to other countries, many of which have less ambitious plans for reducing emissions from oil and gas production. “We might marginally reduce the UK’s emissions, but the world’s emissions would increase.” Last week, according to the Reuters news agency, a group of European Parliament lawmakers asked the European Commission to investigate Russian gas monopoly Gazprom's role in soaring European gas prices, saying the company's behaviour had made them suspect market manipulation. Gas prices in Europe have surged in recent months, helping to drive European electricity costs to multi-year highs, with wholesale power prices not forecast to fall significantly this year. In a letter to the EU's executive commission, dated 16 September, around 40 of the parliament's 700 lawmakers said they suspected Russia's Gazprom had acted to push up gas prices. In response to the accusations, Gazprom said it supplied its customers with gas in full compliance with existing contracts. Eggar said that ahead of the UN's COP26 climate conference in Glasgow in November, " criticism