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    NORWEGIAN PETROLEUM AND ENERGY MINISTER ARRIVES IN MOSCOW

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    MOSCOW, January 27, 2004 (RIA Novosti) -- Norwegian Petroleum and Energy Minister Einar Steensnaes arrives in Moscow on Tuesday, January 27th, for a three-day working visit to discuss co-operation in the energy sphere, reported the press service of the Norwegian petroleum and energy ministry.

    On Tuesday, Steensnaes will meet representatives of Russian and Norwegian oil companies. The minister's meetings with Russian Energy Minister Igor Yusufov, Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref and deputy Natural Resources Minister Pyotr Sadovnik are planned for Wednesday.

    "We maintain a good dialogue and have all the possibilities for joint work," said head of the information department of the Energy Ministry Yuri Nogotkov. According to him, the Norwegian experience in developing shelf deposits would be very useful for Russia.

    Nogotkov reported that the ministers would discuss the development of the two countries' oil and gas industry, raising the throughput capacity of Russian pipelines, co-operation between Norway and Russia within the framework of the European Union, and the Russian investment climate.

    "The Norwegian counterparts are especially interested in the way the access to Russian pipelines is offered and everything that is connected with the possible construction of the oil terminal in Murmansk (northwestern Russia, beyond the polar circle)," Nogotkov pointed out.

    An agreement on co-operation between Russia and Norway in exchanging information on energy and environmental protection will be signed during the Steensnaes-Gref meeting.

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