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MOSCOW, November 7 (Itar-Tass) — The launch of the Nord Stream gas pipeline will give an additional impetus to the development of energy cooperation between Russia and the European Union, Russian president’s aide Sergei Prikhodko said on Monday, commenting on an official visit of President Dmitry Medvedev to Germany.
“Nord Stream is unconditionally a most important energy project, which we hope will not only satisfy growing demands of our partners from the European Union, but will also give an impetus to energy cooperation on the whole,” Prikhodko said.
“This is a real manifestation of major job done to diversify gas deliveries to EU countries,” he said. “The ceremony to launch the Nord Stream gas pipeline, its launch – is a result of years-long and very difficult from the economic point of view technological work, in which the Russian side permanently felt pragmatic and deep interest of our leading partners in the European Union, and first of all Germany,” Prikhodko stressed.
He emphasized that major explanatory work by the Russian government had been required, which concerned not only the economic bloc, while builders and designers had convincingly answered many questions, including ecological ones.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and the prime ministers of the Netherlands and France, Mark Rutte and Francois Fillon, will take part in the ceremony launching the Nord Stream pipeline.
The project is carried out on long-term private investments of a consortium of energy companies from these four countries – Russia, Germany, the Netherlands and France.
On Tuesday, they will formally inaugurate the first of Nord Stream’s twin 1,224-kilometer gas pipelines through the Baltic Sea. When fully operational in late 2012, Nord Stream's two lines will have the capacity to transport 55 billion cubic meters of Russian gas a year to the EU for at least 50 years.
The total amount of investments in the project is 7.4 billion euros.