EU wants clear energy regulations with Russia

June 27th, 2008 - 12:06 am ICT by IANS  

DPA
Khanty-Mansiysk (Russia), June 26 (DPA) EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana called for clear energy regulations with Russia ahead of a key summit expected to jump-start talks on a long-delayed partnership pact, he said in an interview published Thursday. “The whole complex of energy-related issues is one of the most important elements of our relations with Russia,” Solana told news agency Interfax. “It is an area where our interdependence is very strong, and it is only natural that this should be reflected in the new agreement.”

Russian officials said holding talks in the oil-rich Siberian city of Khanty-Mansiysk (June 26-27) was symbolic. The region accounts for about 40 percent of the country’s exports, of which the EU is biggest customer.

“Security of supply is certainly a very important issue for the EU, and something that we will continue to raise with our Russian partners,” Solana said Thursday.

Russia has called a new cooperation pact an “essential legal framework,” but favours a more general agreement mapped out on the one which expired last year, while the EU is insisting on a far more detailed pact, with precise wording on energy, justice and security issues.

On energy, talks will boil down to Brussels trading downstream for upstream investment in the oil sector with Moscow, EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner said Thursday.

“Just as EU companies are keen to bring their know-how and their investments to Russia, Russia is keen to expand its investments in the EU, and the combination of these complementary goals should make it possible to reach a negotiated solution,” she said in an interview with Interfax Thursday.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will host EU leaders for the first time since taking office last month at a dinner Thursday evening. Leaders are to regain the negotiating table at noon Friday.
DPA

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