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Russian-U.S. agreement on information exchange will be prolonged
Russia's energy ministry doubts that a Russian-U.S. agreement on information exchange, which outlines the coordination of energy strategies and is set to expire this year, will be prolonged, a ministry official said Wednesday. The bilateral agreement was signed between the Russian Ministry of Industry and Energy and the U.S. Department of Energy in 2004. "The agreement expires at the end of 2006, and there is a question as to whether or not we should prolong it," said Stanislav Naumov, director of the Analysis and Planning Department at the ministry. His statement came in response to recent comments made by U.S. Senator Richard Lugar, who said Russia, along with Iran and Venezuela, was on a list of countries that used their energy resources to pressure neighboring countries. But Naumov said the energy ministries of both countries proactively developed bilateral ties. Russia and the United States formed a working group on cooperation in the energy sector to promote the exchange of opinions on the situation in the global oil and gas markets, domestic energy strategies, investment in the energy sector, energy efficiency and environmental protection policies. "As far as we understand, the U.S. saw the dialogue with Russia as a means to strengthen its energy security and stabilize global supplies, including through the increased supply of Russian energy resources to the global market, and the U.S. market in particular," the ministry's official said. He said the ministry welcomed the proactive participation of U.S. businessmen and politicians in the Moscow Energy Dialogue, scheduled for October 30 in Moscow. The forum will focus on the implementation of the energy declaration adopted at the Group of Eight summit in St. Petersburg in July.
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