08:21 GMT +319 January 2020
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    Despite tensions between Russia and the West, Moscow remains a lucrative and the most reliable energy partner for Europe, Gerhard Konig, the head of Germany’s Wingas company, said.

    According to him, the current political turmoil has had little effect on commercial cooperation in energy between European partners and Russian gas giant Gazprom.

    "These ties are very strong and stable. In energy and economy, Russia and Europe, particularly Germany, are still good partners. Gas supplies have increased, and ties between companies have not been damaged," Konig said in an interview with Handelsblatt.

    Wingas is the largest European gas distribution company. Originally it was established by BASF subsidiary Wintershall and Gazprom. Since 2007, its 50 percent plus one share was held by the Russian state-owned giant. In 2013, Wintershall and Gazprom announced an asset swap deal, and since 2015 Wingas has been fully owned by the Russian company.

    Despite the fact that a Russian company controls the largest gas storages in Germany there are no reasons for concerns, Konig underscored.

    "Those working with Gazprom have no prejudices. It is a strong and reliable energy partner for Europe," he said.

    An engineer checks the gas distribution system in Beregdaroc, one of several points where Russian gas crosses into the European Union February 10, 2015
    © REUTERS / Laszlo Balogh
    Gazprom has been investing billions in Europe, according to the businessman. There should be no concern that Gazprom will not be able to provide Europe with gas.

    There is no other company which would be interested more than Gazprom in pumping gas in European storages.

    "Both sides need each other. Europe needs Gazprom even at a time when the gas market is oversupplied. In turn, for Gazprom Europe remains the principal market," he said.

    Konig stressed that stable economic cooperation between Russia and Europe could be used for restoring political trust between Moscow and the West.


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    energy cooperation, gas supplies, economy, Gazprom, Germany, Russia
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