Putin to discuss energy with G8 ministers

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The talks, to be held at the Kremlin, are expected to focus on a range of issues, including diversification of energy supplies in the face of increasing demand, as well as development and implementation of "clean" technologies.

MOSCOW, March 16 (RIA Novosti) - President Vladimir Putin will meet G8 energy ministers Thursday to discuss energy security and stability in the global energy sector.

The talks, to be held at the Kremlin, are expected to focus on a range of issues, including diversification of energy supplies in the face of increasing demand, as well as development and implementation of "clean" technologies.

Russia has declared energy security the No. 1 issue for its G8 presidency this year. It will top the agenda at this year's G8 summit, scheduled to be held July 15-17 in St. Petersburg, Russia's second city. Education and healthcare have also been declared priority issues for the Russian presidency.

At a February meeting with G8 finance ministers in Moscow, Putin said the energy sector was a dominant factor in global security and socio-economic development, and that energy resources should be available on a fair basis to all countries.

The Group of Eight club of leading industrialized nations accounts for 49% of global trade, 51% of industrial production, and 49% of International Monetary Fund assets.

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