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Energy is merchandise, not political tool, Romanian President says at summit attended by Putin

Luni, 25 iunie 2007, 0:00

Romania does not accept the idea of energy as a tool for political pressure, Romanian President Traian Basescu said at a summit in Zagreb, Croatia this weekend, which was attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Basescu pleaded for a cooperation framework in energy problems, which would be regulated by the rules of free competition.

On the other hand, Vladimir Putin pleaded for an increased trust between Moscow and the Balkan countries as he said this would enable common energy projects.

Basescu said that the initiative of Ukraine and Moldova to join the energy market in South Eastern Europe proves that the solution of solidarity is a more viable solution than previous exclusivist deals.

At its turn, Putin named Russian group Gazprom as the main company involved in the cooperation scheme with the Balkan countries which provides not only gas but also infrastructure facilities.

Putin spoke of an agreement among the Italian company ENI and Gazprom on building a pipeline of 900 kilometers between Russia and Europe. The South Stream pipeline will cross the Black Sea up to Bulgaria, were it will split in two: one towards Austria and another to Greece and Southern Italy.

The European Union appeals to imports to cover more than 40% of its natural gas needs and almost half of it comes from Russia, while important European states depend on Russian gas totally.

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