(RIA Novosti)-Russian companies will receive access to Italy's energy market in exchange for Italian companies obtaining access to Russian oil and gas deposits, Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi said Tuesday.
Russian leader Vladimir Putin said: "It is extremely important to hear [proposals] on Russian energy companies' access to the Italian market in exchange for our willingness to give Italian companies access to oil and gas production on Russian territory." Putin said Russia was ready to grant access to its mineral resources to any countries that were prepared to engage in equal partnership, such as Germany and its energy corporation BASF, reports Trend.
"In essence, this is implementing the additional protocol to the Energy Charter without the Russian Federation's formal, legal ratification of this document," Putin said.
The president said Russia was ready to do this, but only for those countries that were ready to cooperate on an equal footing.