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Russia's foreign minister warned Wednesday against attempts to discuss energy security issues without Russia's involvement
Russia's foreign minister warned Wednesday against attempts to discuss energy security issues without Russia's involvement. Energy security was a focus of NATO discussions Wednesday, the second day of the Western security alliance's summit in Latvia's capital Riga. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said: "I do not think that attempts to do this [to discuss energy security] without Russia's participation will be useful or will promote energy security." At a conference on the sidelines of the first NATO summit to be held on former Soviet territory, U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Richard Lugar said the most likely source of armed conflict in Europe and the surrounding regions will be energy scarcity and manipulation, and suggested that NATO should be turned into an alliance of energy consumers to face off against Russia. The Russian minister said that in the long term, energy security should be based on mutual respect and protection of legitimate interests of suppliers, consumers and transit countries. "These [energy security] issues must be discussed with respect to the interests of all key players," Lavrov said. The minister stressed the importance of this approach, citing the example of energy security discussions during the recent G8 summit in St. Petersburg, where leaders outlined common approaches to ensuring global energy security and developing nuclear energy. The resolutions adopted by the G8 countries covered reliability of energy infrastructure, diversification of production and supplies of energy resources, development of energy-saving technologies and alternative energy sources, as well as increased transparency and predictability for energy markets. Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the close of the summit, "Our joint strategy is based on a common understanding of a universal energy future for humanity, a future for which we are jointly responsible."
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