Russia Demands Energy Purchase Safeguards from Europe

Other News Materials 25 October 2006 15:31 (UTC +04:00)

(moscownews) - Europe should offer purchase safeguards for Russia's energy supplies if it wants Russian producers to guarantee steady deliveries, the country's Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov said on Tuesday, Oct. 24.

We need some return safeguards that we will have adequate access to the European market, Zhukov said, quoted by RIA Novosti.

EU leaders, increasingly concerned about their energy security, are pushing Russia to sign a legally binding Energy Charter that would compel the country to open up its vast reserves and pipelines to European companies and to provide safeguards for investors. This is not the first time that Russian officials bring up the issue of safeguarded demand. MosNews has reported on the concept of security of demand which was promoted by none less than the President Putin himself, reports Trend.

Europe, which imports a quarter of its oil and natural gas from Russia via Ukrainian pipelines, faced a brief disruption last winter when Moscow suspended deliveries to Ukraine to make Kiev agree to its new pricing terms.

President Vladimir Putin, who met with EU leaders at an informal summit in the Finnish town of Lahti last Friday, assured them that Russia is a reliable supplier, but refused to sign the charter in its current form.

The leaders of Russia and the EU have reaffirmed that energy cooperation should rest on the mutual responsibility of producers and consumers of energy resources, and on the security of the vital energy infrastructure, he said.