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Russian President Vladimir Putin is prepared to tell his European Union colleagues about Russia's energy sector policy for the coming years
Russian President Vladimir Putin is prepared to tell his European Union colleagues about Russia's energy sector policy for the coming years, a Kremlin aide for EU relations said Thursday. Sergei Yastrzhembsky said Putin will also outline the country's position on the issue of foreign participation in the development of Russian energy resources. In particular, he said, the Russian president will tell the European Union how Moscow views its position as that of an important energy supplier to Europe, Russia's plans concerning the construction of pipelines to Europe, the participation of foreign capital in the development of Russian energy resources, as well as basic points of competitiveness and how they might vary for foreign capital. Putin leaves Friday for Finland for an informal EU summit, which begins Thursday in the town of Lahti. Russia supplies a quarter of Europe's gas needs and is implementing an ambitious natural gas pipeline project, the Nord Stream Pipeline, which will stretch from Russia to Germany and will supply Europe with natural gas from the Shtokman deposit, in Russia's Far East. Earlier gas deliveries from Shtokman were mainly intended for the United States. But Russia's gas monopoly said last week it will pump most of the deposit's gas to Europe. State-owned Gazprom also said it will develop the deposit on its own, a move that stunned Norway's Statoil and Norsk Hydro, France's Total, and U.S. giants Chevron and ConocoPhillips, all companies previously on a shortlist of contenders for the project. Russia's environmental watchdog has threatened to withdraw its approval for the Sakhalin II project in Russia's Far East, which is being developed by the European company Royal Dutch Shell. The move is seen as an attempt to limit foreign participation in the development of the Russian energy sector.
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