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MOSCOW, December 5. /TASS/. Russia’s Foreign Ministry and the country’s oil pipeline operator Transneft have signed a cooperation agreement.
The deal was signed by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Transneft CEO Nikolai Tokarev.
As the Russian foreign minister said, Transneft is one of the world’s largest oil pipeline companies.
"Competition on world markets is increasing, including with the use of dishonest methods, unfortunately," the minister said.
"Protectionism is growing and close-type blocs are appearing. All this certainly requires building up economic diplomacy to assist Russian business and its activity abroad. This is one of undoubtful priorities of Russian diplomacy," the foreign minister said.
As Lavrov said, "Russian President Vladimir Putin numerously spoke about the need to increase the efficiency of this activity and fight for external markets more effectively."
"The efforts to strengthen interaction between the Russian Foreign Ministry and the flagships of Russia’s business, including, of course, oil and gas business, are an integral part of this work," the foreign minister said.
The Russian Foreign Ministry "welcomes the expansion of Russian energy enterprises’ business ties with foreign partners," Lavrov said.
The Russian foreign minister also noted Transneft’s effort to develop interaction as part of the international association of oil transporters known as the Prague club.
"We proceed from the fact that the constructive dialog within this forum will further contribute to improving the exchange of information in the oil and gas sector, developing new routes of Russian energy product exports," the foreign minister said.
The Russian Foreign Ministry "already has agreements with a whole number of Russian companies in the fuel and energy sphere, including with Rosneft, Rosatom and Lukoil, the minister said.
"I’m confident that the new document will be an important element in intensifying our versatile cooperation and will make a useful contribution to the common goal of effectively solving our tasks related to the promotion and protection of Russia’s foreign economic interests," Lavrov said.