GORKI, March 21 (Itar-Tass) – Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev invites the EU to revise certain provision of the so-called Third Energy Package.
“We are not against the entire Third Energy Package, we realise that it is the EU sovereign right to regulate gas supplies in its territory. But we are against certain provisions of the energy package, which, in our opinion, infringe our interests and which contradict some basic documents, including the basic agreement between Russia and the EU and certain bilateral agreements,” Medvedev said in an interview with European media.
Over the work on the third energy package Europe should have discussed certain issues with Russia as a major supplier of gas and oil. “We are supplying up to 30 percent of gas and oil /of the European consumption/, but we are not an exclusive partner, as Europe has an opportunity to buy the remaining 70 percent from others,” he said.
“We simply want to be heard. We are not against the option, where in certain cases by means of using the energy packet countries are getting cheaper gas – you are welcome! We are interested in the price for our gas based on the existing rules. If there are any schemes to minimise the expenses, please do. We are also following trends in the energy market,” the prime minister said.
“Russia cannot be demanding from the EU to refuse the Third Energy Package, but still recommends insistently to consider its arguments,” Medvedev continued. “If we adjust certain provisions, including supplies via the EU territory, or participation of our companies and establishment of holdings, not to damage consumers, this would be more fair and could remove our fears about long-term partnership.”
“We are interested in long-term cooperation with the EU, in the cooperation, which is for decades. We may disregard hydrocarbons from the ecology point of view and from the point of view they are not the most modern kind of energy, but what else do we have? Nuclear energy is used not in all countries, though we are for it. The hydrogen fuel – I wish we lived to the time to see the first plants using it. As yet, for the next 30–50 years, we do not have an alternative of hydrocarbons. So let us be mutually respectful!”
Between Russia’s joining the WTO and the attempts to liberalise trade regimes, fighting protectionism, skewness in mutual trade there are no contradictions. “There exist specific features of the market, including the gas one, which cannot be minded. We cannot accept universal schemes for all formats of energy cooperation,” he continued. As an example he gave the gas price formula Russia had been using. “Everyone tells us about the gas price formula. Interestingly, this formula was invented many years ago by Hollanders, and nobody doubted it for 30 years. And now they say Gazprom has invented it, it is the Russians’ secret weapon used to pump out everything from poor Europeans.”
Quite soon, we shall face the task of a formula for shale gas. Medvedev called that kind of fuel a “complicated and disputable topic as yet.” Anyway, its production cost is rather high and cannot be compared with production of gas from deposits. Though I am sure technologies will improve. The most important is not to spoil the nature by those technologies, as the existing risks are very high,” Medvedev said.
The world’s experts will have to offer technologies for production of shale gas. “Not that I say Russia is against it. But the pipe gas only is the way to happiness, and everything else affects our economic interests, and thus we shall resist it. Well, surely, there is no stopping progress.”
“This is exactly the way to improve the nuclear technologies.”
“The Fukishima accident has demonstrated that some technology solutions are not sufficient. And immediately everyone begins checking their nuclear plants. It has a positive, health-improving meaning for the nuclear energy,” Medvedev said.