It is important to succeed in energy diplomacy for Russia in fight with EU: western expert

It is important to succeed in energy diplomacy for Russia in fight with EU: western expert

Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept.14 / Trend V.Zhavoronkova /

Russia and the European Union (EU) are at an important stage of energy competition, which is reflected in the design of new pipelines and the signing of the medium- and long-term energy contracts.

"At present, it is important for Russia, to be successful in its energy diplomacy," European expert on economic issues in Central Asia, Stefan Meister, said. Meister was commenting on the intergovernmental agreement signed between Russia and Kazakhstan in Orenburg in September.

At the forum on the inter-regional cooperation, the countries have reached several important agreements, including in the energy and Russian citizens' stay program in Kazakhstan.

According to the expert, the agreement signed in Orenburg relate to the areas, which are not new for cooperation between the two countries.

"It shows, on one side, that Russia follows its strategy to develop closer energy cooperation with Central Asian states and especially with Kazakhstan, [...] on the other hand we could observe other agreements with for instance Chinese companies in the last months, expert of the German Council on Foreign Policy, Meister, wrote to Trend in an email.

The motor corridor "Western Europe - Western China" enabling Kazakhstan to receive significant transit charges, is the most important agreement among those which have been recently signed between Kazakhstan and China. The corridor "Western Europe - Western China" will be held on the Kazakh territory and allow transit traffic to enter China, not only through Russia, but also through Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, as well as through Southeast Asia.

According to Meister, Kazakhstan is still the most reliable partner for Russia in the region. One example of the established cooperation between the two countries is the export of CPC Blent mix, which produced from the Kazakh Tengiz field and exported via the CPC pipeline to the port of Novorossiysk. In August, 2009, Novorossiysk shipped more than 2.83 million tons of a CPC Blent mixture compared to 2.58 million tons in August, 2008.

If there really will be a Nabucco pipeline (which is much less real than cooperation with Russia and China), Kazakhstan, like other Central Asian states, can still go in cooperation with the European consortium, the expert said.

However, Meister believes Russia tries all the time to make contracts with Central Asian states which supports its energy policy and not the energy policy of the EU, which is currently lobbying actively the construction of the Nabucco gas pipeline with a design capacity of 31 billion cubic meters of gas per year. All Central Asian states have the interest to cooperate with Russia but also to depend not too much on the big neighbour. So, if there is a real opportunity for energy cooperation with the EU, also Kazakhstan will try to cooperate with the Union.

According to the expert, if there is a real possibility of energy cooperation with the EU, Kazakhstan will also try to work with the EU.

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