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Putin dismisses 3rd Energy Package as confiscation of Russia’s investment

December 21, 2012, 19:23 UTC+3

He pointed out the permanent dialogue that the sides maintain on the issue

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BRUSSELS, December 21 (Itar-Tass) – Moscow considers the implementation of the EU’s Third Energy Package as a confiscation of Russia’s investments, President Vladimir Putin said Friday at a news conference upon the end of the Russia-EU summit meeting.

“We believe that the adoption of the Third Energy Package, which covers all the previous transactions retroactively, signals a gross encroachment on Article 34 /on non-impairing conditions for business/,” Putin said. “In essence, our EU partners have already undertaken steps towards confiscating Russian investments.”

He pointed out the permanent dialogue that the sides maintain on the issue. “I hope the right decisions will be taken.”

Putin protested against the arguments cited by the European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, who is speaking in favor of the package.

“Mr. Barroso did an emotional and long explanation because he obviously feels he’s wrong, and you became witnesses of our discussion, and if you open Article 34 of our basic treaty you’ll see everything for yourselves,” he told reporters.

Putin recalled that the linkage of the price of natural gas to the price of crude oil was not at all a Russian invention – it was invented at the beginning of the 20th century in the Netherlands.

“It has been applied throughout all these years unbendingly,” he said. “Oil prices are formed on the markets exclusively by the mechanisms of market economy, not by administrative methods.”

“That’s the essence of our frank discussion, which Mr. Barroso and I have been conducting for many years already,” Putin said. “Still, even though many problems seem to be so momentous, we’re resolving them and we’ve already reached a bilateral trade volume of $ 400 billion.”

He turned down the European counterparts’ complaints who say the prices of natural gas in Russia are way below the European ones.

“We didn’t undersign any obligations on price formation on our own domestic market when we joined the World Trade Organization,” Putin said.

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