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Putin offers EU to create common energy complex

February 27, 2012, 2:01 UTC+3

The premier noted that first steps were made in the gas industry

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MOSCOW, February 27 (Itar-Tass) —— Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin offered to the European Union to create a common energy complex with Russia and to cancel the third energy package.

“We should ponder over a deeper cooperation in the energy sector up to the creation of a common energy complex with Europe,” the Russian presidential candidate said in his program article “Russia and the Changing World”, which is published in the Moskovskiye Novosti (Moscow News) newspaper on Monday.

The premier noted that first steps were made in the gas industry. The governments of many countries supported the Nord Stream gas pipeline along the bottom of the Baltic Sea and the South Stream project in the Black Sea, and the largest European energy companies are participating in these projects.

“After putting them on full capacity Europe will receive a reliable and flexible system of gas supplies immune from any political caprices that will make it possible to really, but not formally step up energy security on the European continent,” Putin pointed out.

“This is particularly topical in view of the decision, which several European countries had taken to curtail or give up at all the use of nuclear power,” he remarked.

The premier also urged to cancel the third energy package, which complicated EU-Russian energy relations. “We should recollect courage and remove this obstacle on the path for mutually beneficial cooperation,” Putin said with confidence. Putin also emphasized that in personal talks with him “many European politicians are criticizing the third energy package.”

Moreover, the premier warned the EU that the third energy package for the liberalization of the EU energy market that imposes a ban for the suppliers to control the transport infrastructure, which is used for fuel supplies, can be detrimental to the interests of European countries. “Amid a growing instability of the suppliers of energy resources alternative to Russia this also makes system risks higher for the European energy sector and deters potential investors in new infrastructure projects.”

However, “true partnership between Russia and the EU is impossible until the barriers are still in place to hamper human and economic contacts, primarily this is the visa regime,” Putin indicated.

“The abolishment of visas would give a strong impetus to a real integration between Russia and the EU, would help broaden cultural and business ties, particularly between small and medium businesses,” Putin believes.

He also believes that “the threats for the Europeans from the so-called economic migrants from Russia are mostly far-fetched.” “Our people have some opportunities to use their efforts and skills in our country, and the number of such opportunities is growing,” the Russian prime minister elaborated.

“In December 2011 we agreed with the EU to take ‘joint steps’ on the way for a free-visa regime. They can and should be fulfilled without any delay,” Putin underlined.

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