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Europe’s energy security to be discussed in Brussels

04. October 2011. | 10:35

Source: Voice of Russia

The conference, named “United Energy Platform as the Basis of Europe’s Secure Future: a Partner Dialogue between Russia and the European Union”, will take place in Brussels on October 3 and 4.

Russian and European experts will discuss the future of Russia-EU cooperation in energy at a conference of the European Parliament.

The conference, named “United Energy Platform as the Basis of Europe’s Secure Future: a Partner Dialogue between Russia and the European Union”, will take place in Brussels on October 3 and 4.

The dialogue on energy between Russia and Europe is held at all levels – from heads of states and MPs to businesspeople and experts.

“The more experts take part in the dialogue and the more diverse the dialogue’s formats are, the more constructive it would be,” Vladimir Feygin, Director of the Institute of Energy and Finances, believes:

“Our European colleagues say that members of the Europarliament, as a rule, are not very informed on issues of energy. Of course, it would be very useful for them to listen to experts.”

For many years, Russia has been a reliable supplier of energy to Europe. However, now, new realities dictate new rules, which must be taken into consideration.

At present, Russia is realizing two large-scale energy projects. In early November, the gas pipeline “Nord Stream” will be launched. This is a totally new route for Russian gas to Europe. The pipeline goes across the bed of the Baltic Sea from the Russian city of Vyborg to Greifswald, Germany, and is 1,200 kms long. At first, the pipeline’s carrying capacity will be 30 bln cubic meters of gas a year. By the autumn of 2012, another part of the pipeline will be built, which will raise “Nord Stream’s” carrying capacity up to 55 bln cubic meters a year.

Russian giant gas company “Gazprom” has already singed contracts on gas deliveries to Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and the UK.

The EU has given the “North Stream” the status of a priority project within the program of trans-European transport networks.

Another Russia’s project, no less ambitious, is the “South Stream”, which will go across the bed of the Black Sea. The presentation of this project took place in Brussels in May. Russia and Bulgaria have already signed documents to create a joint venture, which would build the Bulgarian part of the “South Stream” pipeline.

Another important issue in the energy dialogue is the perfecting of the legal base of the European energy market. First of all, it has to do with the so-called EU’s Third energy package. One of its regulations forbids one and the same company to sell gas and to own the pipeline. Russia believes that this and some other regulations of the Third package run counter to several contracts which Russia has already signed with other countries. As a result of these contradictions, the European Commission has sued 18 of the EU’s 27 countries for not fulfilling the new treaty’s conditions. In its turn, Russia suggests to the West to view its draft project of a Convention for international energy stability.

All these issues will be discussed at the Brussels conference.

Experts say that it is desirable to hold such conferences as often as possible, so that disputes over the legal base or some other unexpected situations are not able to suddenly leave European consumers without gas.


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31. October - 06. November 2011.