European gas Industry Rejects Confrontation with Russia

24 de may de 2007

<body><div id="article"><tr><td height="28" valign="middle" width="184"></td><td valign="middle" width="185"></td></tr><h1>European gas Industry Rejects Confrontation with Russia</h1><p>May 24 (LPAC)--In a demonstrative act of dissent against the western geopoliticians who turned last week's EU-Russia Summit into a scene of Global Showdown, leaders of the three biggest gas companies in Europe issued a joint statement in Berlin yesterday, reaffirming their commitment to expanded cooperation with Russia. According to a front page report in today's <em>International Herald Tribune</em> , the gas industrialists called for greater political support for increased business ties with the Russian energy giant Gazprom, saying growing tensions between Moscow and the European Union should not be allowed to jeopardize energy security.</p><p>"It is about long term contracts, infrastructure joint ventures and asset swaps," said Uwe Fip, senior vice president of E.ON Ruhrgas. Edouard Sauvage, vice president of the supply division of Gaz de France, said the strategy toward Russia was to have reliable and secure contracts for energy delivery. "Russia is our neighbor," said Jean-Marie Devos, secretary general of Eurogas, the agency that represents the industry. "We should take energy on its own merits and not let the political climate affect it." E.ON Ruhrgas, the only non-Russian company to have a seat on Gazprom's board, is part of the Russian-German consortium building the $12.1 billion North European Gas Pipeline, which will allow Russia to bypass Poland by sending gas to Europe under the Baltic Sea. This project "needs political support, otherwise no one will take the risk," Fip said.</p></div></body>