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Russia says EU should heed suppliers in its energy policy

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The European Union should take the position of energy suppliers into account while amending its gas and electricity policy, Russia's industry and energy minister said on Monday.
ROME, November 12 (RIA Novosti) - The European Union should take the position of energy suppliers into account while amending its gas and electricity policy, Russia's industry and energy minister said on Monday.

Speaking about natural gas supplies on the sidelines of the World Energy Congress, Viktor Khristenko said, "The supplier's voice should be heard, as the consumer is not the only link in the chain. You have to understand that changes will influence the whole chain".

A package of bills to regulate the European gas and electricity market proposed by the European Commission in September bars one and the same company from controlling both the production and transportation of electricity and natural gas. This means that companies would be forced to either sell their transportation networks or pass them over to independent operators.

The measures, which the commission said were designed to encourage competition, protecting consumers from arbitrary pricing policies, outraged a number of large European energy companies, including Russia's Gazprom, which supplies about 25% of gas consumed in Europe.

"We believe the natural gas and electricity markets differ a lot, and introducing common requirements for them could cause law suits," Khristenko said.

The energy forum in the Italian capital, which will run through Thursday, is being attended by energy experts, government officials and business executives. Topics being discussed include the growing energy demand and supply problems, and greenhouse gas emissions.

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