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  Saturday, February 29, 2020
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The State Duma may refuse to ratify the Energy Charter Treaty
The State Duma may refuse to ratify the Energy Charter Treaty, said Valery Yazev, chairman of the State Duma energy, transport and communications committee, at a session of the Russian Gas Society's supervisory board held Wednesday. "Some provisions of the Treaty create economic risks for Russia, including a fall in the competitive level of the national industry and people's living standards," Valery Yazev noted. In his words, if a compromise is not found, it is necessary to draft a new treaty in the energy sphere. Valery Yazev pointed out that "more and more people support the idea of creating a Russia-EU energy community today." In his words, Russia's supplies account now for 50% of the EU's total natural gas imports and 30% of its oil imports. The European Energy Charter was signed on December 17, 1991, by 51 countries. It is a political obligation of East-West cooperation which is not, however, legally binding. The Energy Charter Treaty signed in December 1994, after three years of intensive negotiations, unites 49 countries, including all republics of the former USSR, the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, Japan, Australia and all the EU members. The Treaty covers trade, protection of investments and transit rules, as well as mandatory procedures for settling disputes on a multilateral basis, Russia signed the Energy Charter but has not ratified it. In Valery Yazev's opinion, it is also necessary to strengthen cooperation in the gas sphere with the United States and the countries of the Asia-Pacific region. "Cooperation in the sphere of liquefied natural gas supplies to the US market will become one of the main topics for discussion at the forthcoming meeting of the Russian energy community with the US Secretary of Energy," Valery Yazev said in conclusion.
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