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EU invites Russia to take part in developing energy strategy (Update 1)

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EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger proposed on Tuesday that Russian experts take part in developing a European energy strategy until 2050.

EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger proposed on Tuesday that Russian experts take part in developing a European energy strategy until 2050.

The commissioner was speaking at a meeting with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin, who is in charge of the fuel and energy sector, a spokesman for Sechin said.

"Oettinger proposed considerably expanding cooperation as part of the energy dialogue and invited Russian specialists to join the development of the European Union's long-term energy strategy," the spokesman said.

Sechin also said the Nord Stream and South Stream pipelines could be given the status of strategic projects.

"I ask you to pay attention to these projects, they would undoubtedly boost EU's energy and environmental security... We urge our European partners to grant strategic status to these projects," he said.

The Nord Stream pipeline is designed to pump Russian gas to Western Europe, bypassing traditional transit countries such as Ukraine and Belarus blamed for previous disruptions in gas supplies to the region.

South Stream, a major rival to the EU-backed Nabucco project, stipulates the construction of a 300-kilometer pipeline from Burgas on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast to Alexandroupolis on the Greek Aegean Sea coast. The pipeline is scheduled to be launched in December 2015.

The Russian deputy premier also told the European official that Russia supported Europe's energy diversification.

"Russia stands for diversification of energy routes, but supports projects which are first of all economically justified, efficient and have a solid resource base," Sechin said.

Sechin added that Russia and the EU should "study... gas pricing in the European Union, because export price of Russian gas in some cases makes only 30-40% of the final price that consumers pay," his spokesman said.

 

MOSCOW, November 2 (RIA Novosti)

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