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EU, Russia discuss energy cooperation

March 29, 2012, 6:31 UTC+3

Anatoly Yanovsky and European Commission Director-General for Energy Philip Lowe participated in the roundtable discussion

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BRUSSELS, March 29 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia and the European Union discussed interim results of energy cooperation and prospects for joint work in this field at a roundtable hosted by the European Parliament on Wednesday, March 28.

Russian Deputy Energy Minister Anatoly Yanovsky and European Commission Director-General for Energy Philip Lowe participated in the roundtable discussion.

The sides exchanged views on how to build “the common part” of the energy future of Russia and the EU and how to assess the mutually advantageous effect from cooperation and prevent it from being destroyed by ill-considered decisions.

The Russian side believes that “possible prospects and scenarios for the development of the energy sector that are based on the search for deeper EU-Russia cooperation should be analysed in detail” so that experts and the general public could see how much both sides can benefit “if the EU gives up its concerns about energy dependence on Russia”

Yanovsky noted that Russian energy companies’ attempts to buy European energy assets have so far been unsuccessful. He stressed that joint business of Russian and European companies in Russia and Europe can have a future only if it is reciprocal and respects the legitimate rights and interests of investors.

He spoke of “double standards” and discriminatory decisions that hinder effective operation of the OPAL and Nel gas pipelines intended for further transportation of gas from Nord Stream to Germany.

Speaking of cooperation in the power industry, Yanovsky mentioned plans to develop interstate ties between the Kaliningrad region’s energy system with the energy systems of the neighbouring countries, which will help make power supplies to consumers more reliable, increase mutual trade in electricity and bring the Russian and European energy markets closer together.

Yanovsky called for fostering regular and long-term cooperation between Russian and EU regulatory bodies, including the European Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators.

Lowe noted the importance of political dialogue between the EU and Russia for maintaining the present level of mutual trust in the energy sector and stressed that problems should be solved at both the political and commercial levels.

Speaking of the Third Energy Package, Lowe said that it is designed to ensure a higher degree of competition in the market as EU countries must not depend on any one source of energy supplies.

He confirmed that the EU has no problems with Russian companies if they play by European rules. He also believes that Russia should ratify the Energy Charter in order to reduce risks related to trade and investments in the energy sector.

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