G8 should help developing countries in energy sphere - Putin

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(Adds paragraphs 5-6)

MOSCOW, March 16 (RIA Novosti) - The Group of Eight club of rich nations should help developing countries obtain reliable energy resources, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday.

"Our joint efforts should include serious attention to the reliable and affordable provision of energy services to developing countries," Putin told G8 energy ministers in the Kremlin.

He said energy resources could not resolve the problem of poverty. "However, the shortage of energy resources significantly affects economic growth, and their imprudent use may lead to an ecological catastrophe... on a global scale," Putin said.

"We can render developing countries real assistance by introducing effective and affordable energy technologies," he added.

Putin said the G8 summit in St. Petersburg would help begin the transition from separate projects to global energy partnership.

"The G8 summit in St. Petersburg offers us a good opportunity to begin this work, search together and find common approaches to building an effective and long-term energy base for civilization," he said.

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