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Russian billionaire wants independent gas firms to be admited to Europe-bound exports

August 03, 2014, 19:04 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Gennady Timchenko does not rule out that independent producers might be allowed to export pipeline gas to Europe over time

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Gennady Timchenko

Gennady Timchenko

© ITAR-TASS/Alexei Druzhinin

MOSCOW, August 03, 17:50 /ITAR-TASS/. Russian billionaire Gennady Timchenko, who fell under the U.S. personalized sanctions in March and whose companies - including independent gas producer Novatek - were placed on U.S. blacklist in July, does not rule out that independent producers might be allowed to export pipeline gas to Europe over time.

“This [gas export] is not permitted by Russian legislation, which says that Gazprom is a monopoly supplier to Europe,” Timchenko said in an interview with Itar-Tass. “It builds its policy towards foreign partners independently. We don’t meddle with the process. Quite possibly, other Russian companies will be admitted to the European market over time but in any case it’s the state that must decide.”

He said that Gazprom was so important for the state that each step that might be linked with this company should be thought carefully over and weighed out. “One awkward step may bring about a lot of harm,” he said.

According to earlier reports, at a June 4 meeting of the presidential commission on the fuel and energy sector, Russia’s oil major Rosneft asked to be allowed to export pipeline gas. Rosneft President Igor Sechin suggested that a possibility to allow independent producers export gas from new fields in East Siberia and the Far East be looked at. He said it was a debatable issue but “this measure will serve as an impetus to spur up the development of the entire region.”

Earlier, Russia’s independent gas producers - Rosneft and Novatek, were allowed to export liquefied natural gas.

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