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There is no political underpinning in plans to expand co-operation with China - Medvedev

May 20, 2014, 5:31 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Prime Minister did not agree with reporters’ view that the RF advance to the East in this sphere is a response to Western Europe’s threats to find alternative to Russia gas sources
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MOSCOW, May 20 /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s plans for the supply of natural gas to China are dictated by the desire to gain a foothold on a new market, and not by political differences with the European Union, RF Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview to Bloomberg TV.

“I would not see politics behind this today, but I have no doubt whatsoever that the future belongs to the supply to the Asia-pacific region,” he said.

Medvedev did not agree with reporters’ view that the RF advance to the East in this sphere is a response to Western Europe’s threats to find alternative to Russia gas sources. “All this talk is so far abstract or politicised in nature,” he said. “We don’t attach major importance to this simply because there is no considerable alternative to Russia’s supplies in view so far,” the prime minister stressed.

The statements about possible supplies of liquefied natural gas from the United States to Europe also seem unconvincing to Medvedev. “Let them present their calculations,” he said. “As far as I understand, even if this is done in a quite balanced way, the price of LNG that is supplied from the United States would be by 40% higher than the price of Russian pipeline gas,” he believes.

The RF Cabinet head is certain that Russia as the major energy country “should have the possibility to supply gas not only to Europe, but also to Asia.” “It’s advantageous to us,” he noted. “Moreover, we have sufficient possibilities, we have enough gas to supply it both on the eastern and western route,” the premier said. “Considering the worst scenario, conceptually, the gas that may be not delivered to Europe could be sent on the western route to China,” he added, making a reservation that “so far this is only a theoretical prospect.”

“We highly value our European partners, we have been engaged in trade with them for many decades, it is a very important and valuable market,” the RF prime minister said. “On the other hand, we cannot supply our gas only to the European market, because we have enough gas to supply it to the Asian market - and this is the fastest growing market, including to China, which is the largest economy,” Medvedev said.

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