Russia and the European Union (E.U.) announced on October 30th that they would form a long-term strategic energy pact to ensure sufficient energy supplies in the 21st century.
European Commission President Romano Prodi, after the meeting of leaders from both sides in Paris to discuss his proposal for the formation of an energy partnership, said that: “We have been involved in energy discussions in the framework of our strategic partnership.
It will be necessary to mobilize big economic resources.” Prodi indicated that a working group had been created to study the investments in Russian infrastructure needed to boost energy exports from the country.
“This project corresponds to the interests of both the E.U. and Russia. For the E.U. it is a question of diversifying its long-term energy sources,” French President Jacques Chirac was quoted as saying. Russian President Vladimir Putin said that: “Russia is ready to make its contribution to Europe’s energy security in the long-term.
Energy cooperation is important and appealing to Russia because it involves attracting additional capital investment.”
Putin noted that at least two new pipeline routes would have to be established to carry increased Russian natural gas supplies to Europe, including the one proposed on October 19th by Russian gas giant Gazprom that would bypass Ukraine. Russia has accused Ukraine of siphoning gas transported through it to Europe.